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Heather Garden is not only an amazing decoration of any garden in spring and summer, but also the opportunity to add bright colors to the winter landscape. And in this article you will learn which plants are preferable to use, how to choose a place to create such a garden, and how to properly care for it.
The characteristic features of the heather garden
Heather Garden - this is a special garden, the arrangement of which uses heather or Erica, which also goes well with rhododendrons and conifers.
Only one species - common heather - is a representative of the genus heather.
This is a stunted shrub with small and short leaves that resemble the needles of juniper or cypress. The heather flowering period lasts quite a long time - from two or more months to the onset of cold weather. The flowers of heather of a pink and lilac shade are very attractive.
Heather is a symbolic plant, popular since ancient times. In ancient Rome, he was dedicated to Venus - the goddess of love, in Egypt - Isis. Heather is a honey plant, and heather honey has been known since ancient times to this day.
The natural habitat of this plant are the British Isles, North and Northwest Europe, Siberia, Asia Minor, North America, the Azores, and North Africa.
Heather glades are usually found on scarce and uncomfortable soils:
- cutting down
- peat bogs
- dry shores of high bogs.
It covers these lands and practically transforms them during flowering, spreading a purple-pink carpet.
Heather cultivation began in the 18th century in Europe. The first decorative varieties were bred in England and Scotland, and later in the Netherlands. In varietal plants, flowers are brighter - red, pink, dark lilac. And the leaves have a silver or yellow tint. Terry flowers of the above plants resemble tiny roses. Currently, more than 500 varieties are known, the largest collection of which (300 species) is in Germany.
Heather gardens were first founded also in England, after - in Holland, Germany and Belgium. Initially, they looked like collections of varieties - from them alpine hills were organized or they simply landed near houses.
What plants to choose for heather garden
For those who want to create a heather garden with their own hands on a personal plot, it is initially necessary to choose plants. In addition to the most popular heathers, Erica, rhododendrons and azaleas, you can also use other plants that will create a wonderful accent in the garden.
- Andromeda perennial
This is a low and evergreen shrub, the height of which is 25 cm. The leaves are leathery, lanceolate, the upper part is green, and the bottom is silver-blue. A large number of spherical pink flowers bloom in May. This plant loves the sun, but does not tolerate partial shade. Very frost resistant. It has decorative properties during the flowering period and throughout its growing season.
It has a height of 20 - 40 cm, which depends on the plant variety. Flowers are white, pink, pink-violet, lilac, light ruby and purple-red color.
The color of the leaves is usually golden yellow or green. Flowering occurs from the end of July until the beginning of October. Resistant to cold, disease, tolerates winter well under the snow.
- Awl-shaped brookenthal
Evergreen shrub, very compact and a bit like Erica. It reaches 15 - 20 cm in height, has numerous spike-shaped pink inflorescences located on the tops of shoots. This is a frost-resistant plant that tolerates both the sun and partial shade.
- Erica is meat-red, Erica is cruciferous
Shrub evergreen (15 - 20 cm). The color of its flowers is white, purplish red or ruby pink. Flowering begins in May, which creates a beautiful view against the backdrop of still snowed glades. Leaves of light yellow or dark green hues. He loves both the sun and partial shade, but does not tolerate wind. Snowless winters can damage the plant from frost and dryness.
Deciduous and evergreen shrubs, reaching a height of 0.3 m - 2 m. Large-sized flowers are collected in spherical inflorescences. Their color is diverse: pink, red, white, orange, yellow, lilac, beetroot. There are also speckled flowers, two-tone, and even with other patterns. Flowering occurs from May to June. They grow in the sun and in partial shade. However, when choosing a suitable variety, it should be borne in mind that not all of them tolerate frosts equally well.
- Broad-leaved or narrow-leaved Kalmy
Both species are representatives of evergreen shrubs with shiny dark green leaves. There are dense and plentiful inflorescences, they can boast of dark purple, burgundy red, white and pink color, depending on the plant variety.
The plant can grow in partial shade and in the sun. Kalmya is quite frost-resistant, color in June.
- Gaualeteria lying
Very low (10 - 15 cm), evergreen shrub that grows beautifully with the help of its creeping underground shoots. The leaves are shiny, dark green with a burgundy tint in the winter. Young shoots have a chocolate red color.
The flowers are pink, the fruits are red and very large. This is a good groundcover plant that tolerates frost.
Evergreen shrub, often found in the tundra, as well as in the forest zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Has 20 grades. Height is 15 - 40 cm, depending on the selected variety. The leaves are small, oval, shiny, leathery, dark green in color. The flowers are also small in size, collected in racemes, white-pink color. The fruits are bright red, edible, have a juicy taste and are very healthy. It grows in the sun and in partial shade, but the crop gives in absolute coverage. Very frost resistant.
This is a long-lived, perennial shrub. This berry has many differences from wild cranberries. It has been cultivated for over 200 years and has about 200 varieties.
The color of the fruit is from bright red interspersed with white to dark red, almost black.
The height of the shrub is 0.3 m. It can be used as a groundcover for a heather garden, on alpine hills or for designing ponds. It grows in partial shade and in the sun, but bears fruit only with sufficient lighting. Very frost resistant plant.
- Blueberry Covilla
Was obtained by hybridization of 3 North American blueberry varieties. Now grown on industrial plantations for berries. Now there are more than 100 varieties of plants with different growths and different periods of fruit ripening.
The shrub reaches 0.7 - 2.5 m, has sweet and sour fruits that gather in clusters.
It tolerates the sun and partial shade, but brings fruit in good light. In addition to using to create a heather garden, it is well suited for organizing hedges, undergrowth for conifers. Winter hardiness.
Why do heathers dry?
Choosing a place to create a heather garden
The requirements for all heather and lingonberry plants to the soil are approximately the same: first of all, the earth must be loose, air- and water-permeable. But most importantly, it should have an acid reaction. The optimal pH level is 3.5 - 4.5 units. Neutral or slightly acidic soil should be acidified regularly.
To do this, it is necessary to prepare sulfur (40 g per 1 sq. M) or once a day to water the area with a mixture of water and an electrolyte for acid batteries (2 - 3 ml per 1 liter of water).
Upper peat is most preferred for heather, but a mixture of peat and sand, sawdust and pine needles can also be used. The surface of the soil must be mulched with sand or sawdust. Pine bark or cedar husks, which also acidify the soil quite well, look very decorative as mulch.
For the heather garden, you should choose a bright area, well lit by the sun, if you intend to use lingonberry species to get more crops. But, in general, all heather crops tolerate partial shade well, you can plant them under tall trees. But yields due to this approach can be significantly reduced. Care must also be taken to protect the garden from the wind. Watering and humidity should be moderate. In dry and hot weather, plants will respond very favorably to additional watering and spraying.
Almost all cultures used to create a heather garden with their own hands tolerate cold, but some need shelter to prevent dryness and frost damage.