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Gardening with Hardy Heathers

By David Small and Ella May T. Wulff

The sight of a wild landscape covered with heathers in full bloom is breathtaking, so it is little surprise that people have found ways of introducing these rewarding plants into their gardens. Here they excel, offering color in the drabbest months and a huge diversity of height, habit, and other valuable characteristics in return for modest cultural demands.

This comprehensive and highly informative account encompasses the heaths and heathers of the closely related genera Calluna, Daboecia, and Erica, whose shared characteristics and similar cultural requirements make them broadly compatible in a variety of garden situations. These plants have enhanced people's lives for millennia and a full discussion of their naming, uses and other interactions with humans is explored in detail. A fascinating account of the unique ecological niche they occupy – including their remarkable adaptation to make use of the nitrogen and phosphorus unavailable to most other plants – provides a fitting context for discussion of their specific cultural needs. With more than 700 cultivated varieties of Calluna alone, selecting the right heather for the right place can be daunting. The detailed selection of cultivated hardy heathers conveniently provides gardeners with the best garden performers while further lists allow them to search for heathers for specific qualities, such as heat tolerance, ground cover, or early summer blooming. Design options for displaying heathers at their best in the garden are provided along with advice on spacing, pruning, propagation, pests, and diseases.

In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated work, classic wild-collected cultivars are described alongside the latest introductions to produce an invaluable reference that will inspire heather enthusiasts and gardeners for generations to come.

About the authors

David Small

David Small is a leading authority on heathers. The author of numerous magazine articles and co-author of several important heather reference books, he has been advising commercial growers and gardeners alike for more than three decades. David served for many years as chairman of The Heather Society in the UK and is now its honorary president.

Read more about David Small

Ella May T. Wulff

Since joining the North American Heather Society, Ella May T. Wulff has served as their official representative at the First and Second International Heather Conferences in Europe, and served as the society's president from 2001 through 2004. She lectures on various horticultural topics.

Read more about Ella May T. Wulff

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