Heuchera villosa 'Palace Purple'
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The plant that launched a thousand heucheras, for foliage rather than flower, and still valuable today in full sun - where it keeps its purple-red colour
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist or well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Airy sprays of tiny, salmon pink summer flowers appear on wiry stems above neat mounds of large, shiny, almost metallic, dark burgundy leaves. A popular heuchera, this variety is grown mainly for its distinctive foliage, and it looks particularly effective planted in large drifts and contrasted with other foliage plants. It is semi-evergreen and makes an eyecatching front-of-border plant, ideally in dappled shade.
- Garden care: Heucheras do not like dry soil. Remove tatty foliage in autumn. Lift and divide clumps every couple of years in early autumn and replant with the crown just above the surface of the soil. Apply a generous 5-7 cm (2-3 in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the crown of the plant in spring.
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Q:Plants for a sunny border to compliment a tangerine coloured Rose.......
Hi, I have a newly built patio, which incorporates a 5 metre by just over 1 metre bed, south facing in full sun. (when the sun shines!) I have already purchased 8 tangerine roses which I had thought to underplant with some Alchemilla mollis... but I am at a bit of a loss. I had thought to make it very bright with the tangerine/lime colourway but maybe I need to add some dark purple leaved Heuchera? Do they like full sun? Also I would have liked some height at the back....? On the north length of the bed is the patio, on the south length are two oak sleeper holding back a raised lawn. Can you please help me, I started off doing my purchases from you but really I need some professional advice as to what will work together. The 8 rose bushes are the only purchase so far. RegardsAsked on 16/2/2010 by Heather Morss
A:Hello There, I like all your ideas and think it will look very dramatic. Both the Alchemilla and the Heucheras will flourish in full sun or partial shade so they should be absolutely fine. I would not go for anything else too tall as the roses are only reasonably compact and will prefer not to have too much competition, however you could put in a few dark purple Penstemons such as P. Raven to add a bit of height. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/penstemon-raven/classid.7316/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Plant advice for 2 new beds please
Hello, I need some help to decide which plants to put into two new areas please:- 1: A semi-circle flash bed at the front of the house, size approx 2m x 0.80m and 0.80m deep. I thought about the 3 following options for a small tree/bush in the middle:- a) Magnolia soulangeana, but I was worried about the size that it could grow to and possible problems with roots etc . Will it stay small if the size of the container is used to restrict it? b) Witch Hazel (Hamamelis intermediana 'Diane'). Will it spread too much? I think this is very pretty. c) Corylus avellana 'contorta' Then I also need to think about ground cover plants to help suppress weeds. I am only interested in fully hardy, easy to look after plants, could be with some flowers or coloured leaves. 2:- A thin path between neighbours (approx 2m x 0.40). My idea is to plant bamboo. I would love a modern thin run of bamboo with ground cover. My worry is which bamboos to use. I love the yellow, like Phyllostychys aureocaulis (Golden Grove) but not sure if it is strong enough as it could be exposed to some wind. I bought from you a couple of years ago the Phyllostychys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' which I planted in pots but it died this year. I see on your website some other bamboos but I don't like them as much as their canes seems less exposed and have a lot more foliage. But possibly these would be a better alternative... ...? For the ground cover I as thinking of Ophiopogen nigrescen. Do you think these plants will be suitable, or have you any other suggestions? Thank you for your help, GaliaAsked on 15/2/2010 by e moran
A:Hello Galia, All of the taller shrubs you mentioned for the semi-circular bed will get quite large, but their growth will be restricted (both in height and spread) if they are kept in a pot where their roots are restricted. For groundcover you could opt for any of the following:- Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Helleborus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.helleborus/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ Epimedium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.epimedium/ Geranium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.geranium/ Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.erica/ As for the bamboos, even the most well behaved one (Fargesia murieliae) will spread to around 1.5m across so you should keep this in mind when planting it in such a confined space. Perhaps a better option would be one of our hedging plants, which can be cut back hard against the wall. Taxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/trees/hedging/conifer/bigger-trees/best-in-very-large-gardens-parks/taxus-baccata-/classid.6230/ or Ligustrum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hedging/ligustrum-ovalifolium-/classid.4093/ would be good options. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Suggestions for planting low maintenance border please
Hello, I recently had my garden extended by a piece of land measuring 34 metres by 14 metres, and my son purchased 23 Phormiums from you in last August on my behalf. I was delighted with the service I received, and the plants appear to be thriving well especially considering the dreadful weather we have suffered this winter. We also bought Rootgrow from you to assist with their development ,and also for use when we moved mature Acers and other shrubs. I still need more shrubs or other types of plants and would appreciate some advice as to what to use. Along one of the 14 metre lengths there is a "hedge" of bamboo plants, and adjacent to these on the return (long) length there is a small rise of earth, tapering down to ground level, with a specimen black bamboo at the end of the mound. There is also a mature acer, which we had to move, situated at the edge of the dividing path (between the lawn) on the field side of the garden. Would it be possible for you to suggest the names of suitable plants which I could purchase from you and which would compliment the existing ones. I am in my eighties and therefore need a very low maintenance garden. I would also like to introduce a little colour if possible. My garden is very exposed and is on quite a windy site. I look forward to your reply.Asked on 15/2/2010 by Marian Burgess
A:Hello there, There are many plants that might tempt you - here are some of my favourites:- Fatsia japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/fatsia-japonica/classid.3840/ Rodgersia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.rodgersia/cat.plants/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/cat.plants/ Hydrangea paniculata http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.hydrangea-paniculata/ Aucuba japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/aucuba-japonica/classid.277/ Rosa rugosa Alba http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/roses/shrub-rose/hedging/bush-rose/hedging-rose/other-shrub-rose/rosa-rugosa-alba/classid.1148/ Cotoneaster http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.cotoneaster/ Buddleja http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.buddleja/ I hope this helps, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Plants to replace a lawn
Dear Sir I have a small lawn at the front of my garden and want to use plants other than grass. Can you give me some ideas of plants that could give a low effect of green or some planting scheme that would look ok ? RichardAsked on 19/1/2010 by richard wood
A:Hello Richard, There are loads of things that you could plant in this area - here are some of the best. Pachysandra http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/prices-that-have-been-pruned/pachysandra-terminalis-/classid.3288/ Lamium http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/lamium-maculatum-beacon-silver/classid.3133/ Cotoneaster dammeri http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/cotoneaster-dammeri-/classid.1021/ Cotoneaster horizontalis http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/cotoneaster-horizontalis-/classid.1028/ Ajuga http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.ajuga/ Vinca http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.vinca/ Liriope http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/liriope-muscari-/classid.3173/ Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ Calluna http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.calluna/ Geranium http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/mediterranean-plants/geranium-sanguineum-var.-striatum/classid.2000007127/ I hope this gives you a few ideas, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 20/1/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Companion planting for Nectaroscordum bulbs
A friend of mine gave me about 20 Nectaroscordum siculum bulbs this October. I planted them all together for effect, at the required distance apart, and I am wondering if you could suggest something I could plant underneath them, when they come up (hopefully!) next summer. I believe they are quite tall, so something at their feet would be good. The bed gets sun and shade in equal parts. If you could help, I would be very grateful. Best wishes DianeAsked on 5/12/2009 by Diane Baker
A:Hello Diane, I would underplant with one of the colourful Heucheras - preferably one with plum coloured foliage to pick up the deep purple flecks in the flowers. http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ I hope this helps. HelenAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:I am ok to still plant in October?
Hi there, I am really new to gardening so you hope you can help me! I have ordered these plants below, ..... if they arrive in 1-2 weeks time is it still going to be alright to plant? (probably a question I should have asked before I placed the order!!)I know there is a certain time by which you need to get all your planting done before it gets to cold. Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen', Heuchera villosa 'Palace Purple', Luzula nivea, Clematis 'Jackmanii Superba', Clematis florida var. sieboldiana. Appreciate your advise. Cheers,Asked on 1/10/2009 by Mearah Wanigasekera
A:Hello There, As a general rule hardy plants that are grown in containers can be planted at any time of year as long as the soil isn't frozen solid. The best times are in the autumn when the soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth but the plant isn't in active growth, or the spring before the temperatures start to rise. You can also plant in mid summer as long as you make sure the plants are kept well watered. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 1/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Advice on planting your pre-designed Red Summer border
Dear sir/madam I am particularly interested in buying the Red Summer Pre Designed Border. Please can you tell me whether these plants are suitable for planting in conjunction with weed inhibiting fabric. I want to minimise the amount of weeding required. Many thanks for your help RuthAsked on 22/6/2009 by Ruth Hamilton
A:Hello Ruth, You can plant these into the weed supressing fabric without any trouble at all, provided you make sure the fabric allows the water to drain through. All you need to do is cut big crosses into the fabric and peel back the edges to plant and then fold back the edges again. I hope this helps.Answered on 23/6/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Do I need to cut back my Heuchera?
I have a Heuchera Chocolate Ruffles and I am not sure whether I need to cut it back each Spring. It is around 3 years old and although I have never had to prune it before it is starting to look a little tatty.Asked on 13/1/2006 by janet roberts
A:Heucheras generally don't need to be cut back hard but you can tidy up the plants by taking off the dead leaves. They do tend to push themselves up out of the ground over time as the woody rootstock develops though, so to keep them looking fresh you can either mulch around the base of the plant, or lift and replant them again (a little deeper) in the same spot.Answered on 16/1/2006 by Crocus
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 to turn yRead full article