October Plant of the Month: Heather

A terrific plant that deserves a spot in any garden. They may be small, but Heather are inexpensive, evergreen plants that provide colour even in the coldest months. Originating from the Scottish Hylands, transform any garden border, patio or rockery with the vibrant floral clusters of Heather and turn any garden into a carpet of dazzling colour.

To celebrate Heather as our plant of the month, we have selected our best Heather mixtures and collections on offer, as well as ideal planting partners, a planting guide and even some traditional folklore about Scotland’s national flower.

Top Varieties

Winter Flowering Collection

These small Heathers make a big impact with their masses of tiny blooms that flower all winter long into the spring. This collection of low-growing evergreen shrubs make excellent and colourful ground cover.

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Winter Mixed (Erica)

One of the hardiest of the Heathers. This wonderful mix of Erica Heather are low and quick growers, which will form eye-catching mats of pink, white, purple of red blooms. The perfect plant to compliment early spring bulbs.

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Summer/Winter Collection

Fill your garden with beauty all year round with this collection. Our summer Heathers bloom from July-October, while our winter Heathers flower from December to February. Plant en masse on a slope and an impressionist’s landscape will burst into life.

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Summer Mixed (Calluna)

Among the most hardiest and most varied of all Heathers. Appearing from mid-late summer, these showy flowers practically glow with their bright and beautiful shades. An easy to grow contender for adding to cottage gardens or as ground cover.

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Looking for some floral inspiration? Here are some tips on companion planting with Heather…

When planted en masse, Heathers and Heaths make a swath of tones and foliage with easy appeal and graceful texture. Adding some dimension to such plantings further enhances the garden area and increases interest year around.

Rhododendrons & Azaleas

A classic Heather companion. They crave the same acidic soil and consistent moisture on which Heather thrive. You can even feed Heather with a Rhododendron fertiliser.

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Pansies

When planting Heather in containers, keep it simple by accenting them with beautiful hardy Pansies. An excellent pot plant that grow well with Heather.

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Lavender

Smaller flowering plants compliment Heather and bloom at different times, thereby extending the bloom show. The look of Lavender and Heather together is a real showstopper.

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Planting Guide

Planting Time: Autumn-Early Spring 📆

Soil Type: Well drained, lime-free soil 🏡

Location: Full Sun/Partial Shade ☀

Flowering Time: July-October & December-February 🌸

  • Space Heathers as far apart as their mature width and at least 60cm away from other shrubs (to ensure good air circulation).
  • Dig a hole about twice as wide as the plug and half again as deep.
  • Firm the soil around the plant and water-in.
  • Water the plant once or twice a week when the soil is dry throughout the first season.
  • Mulch after planting.
  • Trim faded flower stems back to bases straight after flowering.

  • Plant them in a large, wide pot with good drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Use ericaceous potting mix (they enjoy highly acidic soil).
  • Shelter from strong winds and water when the two-inch later of soil is dry.
  • Protect from frosts by moving small pots indoors or cover the plant with polystyrene foam, then mulch the plant heavily.

Folklore 🌟

Here are some fascinating tales about these wild blooms.

RHS Award-Winning Blue Spring Bulbs

Blue can be a difficult colour to find naturally in a flower and is traditionally seen as an emblem of peace and calm. From baby soft blues to dark navy blooms, our selection of award-winning spring-flowering bulbs will surely bring some serenity to your garden.

Each of these bulbs have received an award of Garden Merit by the RHS for their quality, reliability and outstanding performance, so you can guarantee that these spring blooms are the best choices for your spring displays.

Here are our 7 beautiful award-winning blues…

1. Scilla siberica

One of the earliest blooms of spring. Boasting with an intense, true blue colour, these nodding bell-shaped blooms will add a touch of woodland magic to the spring garden. A great naturalizing bulbs for creating a sea of blue in your beds and borders.

 

Plant Scilla Siberica with…

Winter Heather

Loved for their outstanding upright and bushy habit, this mixture of Heather adds a touch of glistening colour to the winter/spring garden.

 

Narcissi ‘February Gold’

Always the first to blooms, this beautiful award-winning Narcissi’s vivid yellow nodding flowers will add a beautiful contrast of colour when planted with Scilla. A great naturalizer too.

 

2. Muscari Latifolium

An increasingly popular, bicolour species. This unique variety produces beautiful, scented flower spikes that transform from a light green, to blue and then open to an unusual plum purple. These bold blue flowers are perfect all by itself or can be used to create a lovely colour combo.

Plant Muscari latifolium with…

Tulip Fashion

Vibrant compact Tulips. These Kaufmanniana beauties bloom an empire rose with purple veins, a perfect companion to blue Muscari for dreamy, romantic spring bedding.

 

 Anemone Nemorosa ‘Royal Blue’

An easy-to-grow naturalizing Anemone. These vivid royal blue flowers will add a beautiful variety of shape and texture to a spring woodland-style when planted alongside Muscari.

 

3. Hyacinth Delft Blue

This extremely fragrant, award-winning Hyacinth has the most beautiful soft, porcelain blue flowers that are guaranteed to create a show-stopping display in spring. These easy-to-grow flowers will make a welcome addition to beds, borders or for the best visual impact, plant in groups with other spring bulbs.

Plant Hyacinth Delft Blue with…

Tulip Apricot Beauty

This award-winning Tulip is an early bloomer with soft apricot flowers. A perfect, sweetly fragrant companion for planting alongside the beautiful scent of Hyacinths.

 

Euphorbia polychroma

Incredibly showy, Euphorbia polychroma is a mounding perennial that bears attractive golden yellow flowers in the spring time. A lovely contrasting companion for the beautiful blue blooms of ‘Delft Blue’.

 

4. Muscari azureum

This lovely compact Muscari will brighten up the spring garden with their light powder puff blue flowers. This long-flowering early spring award winner looks spectacular when planted en masse to create a beautiful drift of colour, for an unforgettable visual impact.

Plant Muscari azureum with…

Tulip Orange Angelique

Make a statement in your garden by pairing the pale blooms of ‘Azureum’ with the soft peachy shades of this beautiful double-flowering Tulip. They also produce a light fragrance and will pair well with Muscari’s fragrant flowers.

 

Hyacinth Pink Pearl

Create a riot of colour with these delightfully bold pink Hyacinths. These highly scented blooms paired against scented Tulips and Muscari will create a heavenly carpet of sweet fragrant spring flowers in the border.

 

5. Puschkinia Libanotica (Russian Snowdrops)

Release an impressive display with this lovely, naturalizing bulb. These award-winning spring favourites will make a striking impact with their blue-striped white fragrant blooms. Ideal for planting in groups for years of spectacular blue flowers.

Plant Puschkinia Libanotica with…

Narcissi Surfside

Create a subtle and elegant display by pairing Russian Snowdrops against the pale yellow and snow white blooms of Narcissi Surfside. These beautiful pastel flowers will brighten up any spring garden.

 

Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’

This award-winning Crocus blooms is well-loved for its sweet scent and clump-forming nature. They bloom with crisp white petals that surround a fiery orange throat. A beautiful fragrant companion for Snowdrops in the early spring.

 

6. Chionodoxa Luciliae

These breath-taking blue flowers are a charming addition to the early spring garden. Their star-shaped blooms create a stunning woodland display when left to naturalize and it’s a wonderful way to add a blue sea of colour to rock gardens or the front of the border.

Plant Chionodoxa Luciliae with…

Cyclamen Coum

Bursting with beautiful charm, these low-growing pink Cyclamen are the perfect companions for planting with Chionodoxa to create a superb woodland-style carpet of colour in early spring.

 

Galanthus Woronowii (Broad Leaf Snowdrop)

A true staple of spring. For planting as a backdrop against low-growing Cylamen and Choinodoxa, the snowy white giant blooms of these snowdrops will make a beautiful fragrant accent plant to a spring woodland display.

 

7. Muscari Armeniacum

These electric blue flowers are guaranteed to liven up any  garden this spring season. As well as their beautiful fragrance, these award-winning blooms are easy to grow, naturalizing and create an amazing colourful impact when planted in drifts around shrubs or under trees.

Plant Muscari Armeniacum with…

Narcissi Jack Snipe

Hardy and striking. The frilled golden-yellow cups are surrounded by delicate pure white petals that deepen to a creamy shade at the base. This free-flowering award winner will create a striking, contrasting colour combination that will dazzle in the spring.

 

Tulip Ballade

This incredibly beautiful award-winner is a spectacular Tulip. Showcasing violet-mauve and white blooms, this unusual colour combination will stand out in borders or containers. An elegant variety for naturalizing in the late-spring garden.