Erica carnea has to be one of the most stunning plants through the winter when its compact cushions of flowers are beautiful in frost, snow and sun. Most heathers need an acidic soil but this little plant is so tough that it will grow almost anywhere so long as it has plenty of sun and drainage. This year our plants started flowering in late December and will carry on deep in to the spring, often combining with the tulips.
This plant is such a stunner that it has sometimes been over planted in the past and has gone out of fashion a bit; Heather gardens of garish coloured carpets, studded with dwarf conifers are now quite dated. William Robinson recommended heathers as a very successful wild garden plant, and mixed with azalea, naturalized perennials, bulbs and grasses I absolutely love them.
Words by Tom, photographs by Martin