– Heather (Erica)
Six inches to one foot.
Flowers white and various shades of red and purple,
February to October.
The great family of the heaths may be conveniently
divided for the purpose of the ordinary gardener
into the Erica carnea group, in red and white
forms, flowering very early in the year; Erica vulgaris
and its hybrids; and the Menziesii (Menziesia)
or Irish heathers.
The two latter flower during
the summer until the autumn, affording a considerable
succession of bloom.
It may be said at once that
there are many soils and situations where it is
the merest waste of labour to try and grow Heathers.
Chalk and heavy clay are out of the question;
with ordinary loams and garden soil something
may be done; if the soil should happen to be sandy
and peaty, in a neighbourhood where the wild heathers
grow freely, the owner might do worse than concentrate
his energies on the Erica tribe.
The carnea varieties
will grow tolerably in ordinary garden soil, and
some of the Menziesias may be tries in ground
that is moist but porous, a little stony, but
thoroughly well drained.
In general, prepared
beds must be made by digging in abundance of fibrous
peat; a trench should be taken out and six or
eight inches of sound black stuff worked in.
best way to obtain a stock of Heaths is to get
plants from a good nursery in the North and put
them out before growth begins in Spring.
are a few of the best among forty or fifty varieties.
Erica carnea (flesh-coloured, early).
Erica tetralix alba (white Bell Heather).
Erica vulgaris alba (white Heather).
Erica Serlei (tall white).
Erica tenuis (red).
Menziesia polifolia (purple Irish).
Menziesia alba (white Irish).