Characteristics of the heather garden
The heather garden is a special garden, at which arrangement heather or erica is used, which are also perfectly combined with rhododendrons and coniferous plants.
Only one species - common heather - is a representative of the heather species.
This is a short shrub with small and short leaves that resemble the needles of juniper or cypress. The heather bloom lasts a long time - from two months or more before the onset of cold weather. Flowers heather pink-purple shade 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 - to Isis. Heather is a melliferous plant, and heather honey is known from ancient times to this day.
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The natural habitats of this plant are the British Isles, Northern and North-Western Europe, Siberia, Asia Minor, North America, the Azores, North Africa.
Heather meadows are usually found on scarce and uncomfortable soils:
- cutting down
- light forest,
- hummocks of peatlands,
- dry banks of raised bogs.
He 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. The 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 for the first time began to be based also in England, after - in Holland, Germany and Belgium. Initially, they looked like collections of varieties - from them alpine slides were organized or they simply landed near houses.
What plants to choose for the heather garden
For those who want to create a heather garden with their own hands on the plot, it is necessary to pick up the plants. Besides the most popular heathers, ericas, rhododendrons and azaleas, you can also use other plants that will create a wonderful accent in the garden.
- Andromeda perennial
It is a low and evergreen shrub whose height is 25 cm. Leathery, lantcent leaves, 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. Extremely frost resistant. It has decorative properties during the flowering period and throughout its growing season.
Has a height of 20 - 40 cm, which depends on the type of plant. The flowers are white, pink, pink-violet, purple, light ruby and purple-red.
Leaf color is usually golden yellow or green. Flowering occurs from the end of July to the beginning of October. Resistant to cold, disease, well tolerated winter under the snow.
- Brulentalia stem-leaved
Evergreen shrub, very compact and a bit like Eric. It reaches 15 - 20 cm in height, has numerous pink inflorescences spiciform, located on the tops of the shoots. It is a frost-resistant plant, well tolerant of both sun and partial shade.
- Erica is meaty red
Evergreen, low shrub (15 - 20 cm). The color of its flowers is white, purple-red or ruby-pink. Flowering begins in May, which creates a beautiful view on the background of snowy glades. The leaves are light yellow or dark green shades. He loves the sun and partial shade, but does not tolerate wind. Snow-free 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-colored and even with other drawings. Flowering occurs from May to June. Grow in the sun and in partial shade. However, choosing a suitable variety, it should be borne in mind that not all of them tolerate frost equally well.
- Kalmia broadleaf or narrow-leaved
Both species are representatives of evergreen shrubs with shiny dark green leaves. There are dense and abundant inflorescences, can boast of dark purple, maroon-red, white and pink color, depending on the variety of plants.
The plant can grow in partial shade and in the sun. Kalmya quite frost-resistant, color in June.
- Gaualtery lying
Very low (10 - 15 cm), evergreen shrub that grows well with its creeping underground shoots. The leaves are shiny, dark green with a burgundy shade in winter. Young shoots have a chocolate-red color.
The flowers are pink in color, the fruits are red and very large. It is a good ground cover plant that tolerates very cold weather.
- Lingonberry ordinary
Evergreen shrub, often found in the tundra, as well as the forest zone of the Northern Hemisphere. It has 20 varieties. Height is 15 - 40 cm, depending on the selected grade. The leaves are small, oval, shiny, leathery, dark green. The flowers are also small in size, clustered in racemes, white-pink in color. Fruits are bright red, edible, have a juicy taste and are very useful. It grows in the sun and in partial shade, but gives a crop with one hundred percent coverage. Very cold resistant.
- Cranberry large-fruited
This is a long-lived, perennial shrub. This berry has many differences from the forest cranberries. Cultivated for over 200 years and has about 200 varieties.
The color of fruits 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 ground cover plant for heather garden, on alpine hills or for decoration of water bodies. It grows in partial shade and in the sun, but bears fruit only with sufficient light. Very cold-resistant plant.
- Blueberry Coville
It was obtained by hybridizing 3 North American blueberry varieties. Today it is grown on industrial plantations for berries. Now there are more than 100 varieties of plants with different growth and different period of fruit ripening.
Shrub reaches 0.7 - 2.5 m, has a sweet and sour fruit, gathering in clusters.
It tolerates the sun and partial shade, but brings fruit in good light. In addition to use to create a heather garden is well suited for the organization of hedges, undergrowth for coniferous trees. Hardy
Why dry heathers (video)
Choosing a place to create a heather garden
The requirements of all heather and cowberry plants to the soil are about the same: first of all, the earth must be loose, air- and permeable. But most importantly - it must have an acid reaction. The optimum pH level is 3.5–4.5 units. Neutral or weakly acidic soil should be regularly acidified.
To do this, it is necessary to prepare sulfur (40 g per 1 sq. M) or water the area once a day with a mixture of water and electrolyte for acid batteries (2 - 3 ml per 1 l of water).
Most peat is preferred for heather, but you can use a mixture of peat and sand, sawdust and needles. The soil surface should be mulched with sand or sawdust. Pine bark or pine nut husks, which also acidify the soil well, look very decorative as mulch.
For a heather garden, you should choose a bright area, well lit by the sun, if you intend to use lingonberry species to get more harvest. But, in general, all heather cultures tolerate penumbra as well, and they can be planted under tall trees. But the yield due to this approach may be significantly reduced. Care must also be taken to protect the garden from the wind. Watering and moisture should be moderate. In dry and hot weather, plants will respond very favorably to additional watering and spraying.
Practically all cultures used to create a heath garden with their own hands tolerate cold weather well, but some need shelter to prevent dryness and frost damage.