This week I am going to introduce you to my new favourites. Heucheras, Heucherellas and Tiarellas which all belong to the family – Saxifragiace, a North American group. Given the problems I have in this garden with S&S (slugs and snails) and becoming quite disillusioned with the destruction of lots of seedlings and flowers in my first year of planting, I decided to try to find plants that are resistant to their munching. Herbs seem to survive – in fact the S&S appear to dislike anything with a strong scent. I also discovered that if I buy established plants and large seedlings that although they are more expensive they do seem to survive.
Heucheras are very versatile plants and come in all sorts of colours and one of the easiest plants to grow. There are some suited to full sun, some to shade and some that are happy in both. Generally speaking I find the lighter, brighter ones do well in shade and add a touch of brightness. They also come in a variety of leaf sizes, some small-leaved ones look good in containers, hanging baskets and rockeries, then there are large-leaved varieties which look good at the front of a border.
If you have a hot sunny spot you will need to pick the hotter, deeper colours – reds, orange, black, purple. Shade is great for silvers, limey greens, golden oranges and variegated. Dappled shade is great for both – Morning sun afternoon shade is also a great combination.
These are hardy plants and do not require covering with fleece in winter. They need to breathe so also do not allow other foliage to hang to closely over them. Once established they are drought hardy. In spring simply remove any dead leaves or give them a spring haircut and they will grow again. They are also easy to propagate through division, which is why I have several of the lime and marmalade plants in my garden.
Heucherellas are a lovely group of plants – they are a cross between Heucheras (Coral Bells ) and Tiarellas (Foam Flower) giving some of the lovely foliage colours of the Heucheras combined with the beautiful foamy flower of the Tiarella. Heucherellas are happiest in light-shade although the orangey/reds do enjoy some sun.
Tiarellas- Foam Flowers – this group of plants are little gems in the shady border – producing masses of whorls of starry foamy white/pink flowers – some of which are sweetly scented. They look lovely naturalising in woodland borders with spring bulbs.
I shall be adding to my collection next year with some suitable for containers in the courtyard garden.
See here for the participant’s guide.