Gardening: Heucheras and Gardening Notes

Hello, gardeners!

Well, the Dog Days of August are closing in, so another growing season is also winding down. I know in my own gardening endeavors I have had trials, errors, successes and failures this season. If you do not try, you never know … or learn.

Coral BellsOne of my favorite perennials is the heuchera or Coral Bells. They are a lovely partly sun, part shade plant. The heuchera is an excellent plant for pots. I use them as a single specimen in a container and also in mixed container plantings. Last summer, I introduced a Grape Soda heuchera to the 50 other heucheras living in my Rolesville garden. The soda series is colorful. Nuances of pink/purple in the leaves of Grape Soda perfectly complement the bright fuchsia pink planter I chose to highlight this plant. Compliments have abounded.

If you are new to heuchera, give the tried-and-true standard Palace Purple a place in your garden.

Autumn is coming soon. If you are interested in a mixed container, heuchera is great with a perennial grass, pansies and your favorite mum. Once it outgrows your container, find a spot in the garden to start your own heuchera haven.

Have I mentioned I am a plant collector? What gardener isn’t, right? It is like shoes for ladies and fishing rods for men. Who does not love the hunt for and the giddy realization of finding that special plant. Who is not bummed when that plant does not make it? I have been known to repurchase after losing a much-sought-after plant. I do not replant replacement plants in the same area of the garden.

GardeningI keep notes on what works and what has not worked in my garden. It is like a “dear diary” of my gardening endeavors. Try this because it makes interesting reading as the years roll by. Not unlike the old diaries that I happen upon from time to time, some of my garden journal entries are a bit embarrassing too. It is surprising how little I knew 25 years ago about the garden. It is sad the plants that paid the price for my inexperience and gardening ignorance. But, gardeners, that is why we keep at it and enjoy so much our own little piece of earth, right?

I thank my grandmother for sharing her expertise and love of gardening with me. That lady was a true gardener.

I thank my mother for sharing her love of the crepe myrtle with me and my sisters. My sisters and I recently lost our mother, and one of my final visits included a chat on how pretty the crepe myrtles are this year. Must have been all the rain. It must have been a gift from God. She was.

Happy digging!

— Pam Eagles, Wake County Extension Master Gardener | August 2016 | Photos by Pam Eagles