elephant's ears / heart-leaf bergenia
Tall red stems of pink flowers in spring and robust red-tinted foliage in winter - for drier places too
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: any soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast
- Flowering period: March to April
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Commonly known as elephant's ears, because of their large, leathery, oval leaves, bergenias have become fashionable again, thanks both to the number of new cultivars that have become widely available and to their usefulness in the garden. Bergenias are low maintenance, evergreen, will grow in sun or shade and tolerate a wide range of soils, including dry soils and clay.
This bergenia has deep-green leaves throughout the year and produces bright, rose pink flowers spikes in spring. A favourite of Edwardian garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and plantswoman Beth Chatto, this robust plant is great for edging well-trodden paths or planted in groups as ground cover, or providing a foil for delicate plants.
- Garden care: After flowering remove faded flowerheads. Cut off damaged foliage in spring. Lift and divide large clumps in early spring.
The trick to achieving the tropical effect is good preparation and dense planting, vivid foliage, fiery flowers and striking contrasts. The jungle garden is a place for theatrical planning and planting. If you don't have room or the inclination...Read full article