The other day, I was roaming my local nurseries and noticed some enchanting red and orange heucheras. They’re commonly called Coral Bells. Some I’ve grown and some I’ve yet to put in my garden. But I recommend growing all of these low perennials. They show off beautiful foliage, bloom in tall wands of delicate flowers, and attract hummingbirds. Plus, they grow in an array of gorgeous colors and variations. Many even survive down to zone 4 temperatures. So with a little fertilizer and trimming in spring, these part-shade babies will please you with long seasonal interest.
Usually, I favor the purple and silvery heucheras because they blend so harmoniously with magenta and orange flowers, which I like. But these more heated colors work well in contrasting arrangements. Try pairing them with blue hostas or forest green ferns or even glossy ginger.
Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe’
I love how the leaves of ‘Peach Flambe’ emerge as a dusky red. Then, as they broaden, their hue turns orange and lightens up. You can see what I mean in the top photo of a fall container arrangement.
Heuchera ‘Fire Alarm’
In contrast, ‘Fire Alarm’ warms with a muted brick tone. That shade could smolder beautifully against a variegated euonymus or dark green hellebore.
Aren’t those markings cool? Heuchera ‘Paprika’ glows with a wonderfully smoky peach color, highlighted by those prominent, craggy veins. I adore how the foliage is like a painting itself.
Heuchera ‘Forever Red’
Heuchera ‘Forever Red’ seems to deepen the longer you look at it. It’s utterly enchanting. The ‘Forever’ series includes a purple cultivar as well, which is absolutely electric. Also, they both hold their color in milder climates.
I haven’t even gotten to cultivars somewhere between red and purple, of which there are many. And then there are the green tones. But I’ll leave all of those to a future post. And leave you to decide which of these lovelies you might like to try growing in your garden!
Variegated Iris (Iris pallida ‘Variegata’) is a versatile and wonderful iris to grow. I have two beside the birdbath in my garden. These natives of Croatia have creamy yellow and light green leaves with two-toned lavender blooms. They also offer great structure for the garden, growing in flat wide spikes. If you grow this rhizome, you won’t be disappointed.
Easy Growing Conditions
Variegated iris likes full sun and moist, rich soil. It can tolerate some shade but if it gets too much, the leaves will flop over. Those sword-like leaves grow to about 24″ tall, creating a bold statement. The plant is hardy from zones 4 to 9, making it able to be widely grown by many U.S. gardeners. Its flowers are fragrant with a touch of yellow in their beards. In warmer areas, the foliage is evergreen. Pair it with mounding geraniums or dark purple heuchera, or even filipendula ‘Red Umbrellas’ (as I have here). The contrast will be lovely. Variegated iris suffers rarely from pests or disease. I highly recommend that anyone try growing this lovely perennial.