This month I am going to focus on two great plants you could include in your garden borders, Heuchera and Tiarella, both members of the Saxifragaceae family and native to the woodlands of North America.
Heuchera or coral bells, form a neat and compact mound about 40cms high and are mostly evergreen. These are hardy and versatile plants are perfect grown at the front of the border between taller plants or in containers providing that the drainage is good. Depending on variety, they are happy in sun or light shade and produce a white, pink, or red flower on long slender stems in summer.
The deeply lobbed leaves of Heucheras can be plain, marbled, or veined, and offer a vibrant choice of colours from green, pink, and purple to zingy lime so there really is one to suit everyone’s taste.
There are over four hundred different varieties of Heuchera, most varieties prefer to be planted in light or dappled shade, but the darker leaf varieties such as Obsidian or Plum Pudding with its gorgeous maroon foliage can take more sun.
In Autumn tidy up the leaves and add a generous amount of mulch around the plant to protect the plant from frost heaving. This is when the soil around the plant freezes pushing it out of the ground exposing the roots.
Tiarella cordifolia or Foam Flower, my favourite variety is ‘Spring Symphony,’ but ‘Sugar and Spice’ is just as nice! These perennials form a clump about 30cms high have deeply lobbed almost palmate shaped green leaves marked with dark purple veins.
Tiarella produce upright stems of small star shaped creamy white flowers which open to pale pink flowers in late spring early summer. Like Heucheras they like moist well drained soil and look great planted in drifts as ground cover for best effect in the woodland garden with hardy ferns and hostas.
This plant dies back to below ground level in autumn before fresh new growth appears in spring, so apply a thick layer of mulch to protect the crown from frost.
Until next time