Years of enjoyment with hardy heather

Erica carnea.
Erica carnea.
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It’s difficult to imagine facing winter without heathers for company. They’re already threatening to flower and we all know the spectacle will persist for weeks, whatever the weather.

If you have the space, select four different types to cover the seasons, buy three or five plants of each and arrange them in groups and anticipate years of enjoyment.

Cultivars of the moorland heather caluna vulgaris, which have superb pink flower spikes, are a recent memory but now the erica carnea (pictured) varieties are showing promise.

Alongside them are polyanthus, some blooms appearing prematurely, and wallflowers. Nearby containers are planted with winter pansy, violas and everywhere spring bulbs are emerging.

All reason enough to look on the bright side!