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Growing Heather in a Scottish Garden — 37 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your further post thank you once again.

  2. I have to admit that I although I love the sight of swathes of heather on the hillsides, I have never grown it in the garden. I suspect I would have given it a go here, if I didn’t have alkaline soil. Though your white heather is rather pretty and would probably quite like it – food for thought!

  3. I have never grown heathers, but seeing yours in your old garden certainly makes me want to give them a try! My problem is limited sunlight, though I do have a few areas that get plenty of sun. I have seen them in garden centers and admired them. Yours are an inspiration!

  4. I’m jealous Alistair – heather does not grow in my area (heavy clay alkaline soil). I had a lovely one in a pot once! The soft colors and texture are wonderful. Enjoy.

  5. I have a gardening friend near here who grows heaths and heathers, so I’m sure they would survive in my garden in spite of thick clay — I would have to use a raised bed. I am leaning toward native plants these days, but my friend tells me that although heaths and heathers are not native they have many of the advantages that native plants offer… They are not invasive. They are drought tolerant once established in the garden. They do not require fertilizer. They provide year-round color in the garden. Your photos are lovely! There, I’ve convinced myself. P. x

  6. I like heather very much, but it is so unreliable in our climate and mostly soils. I have a client that has more gravely soil and her heather has been returning the last few years. This year we will wait for the snow melt to see if it is still there. I like the texture of the plant too.

  7. The heathers in your old garden as certainly a nice bit of inspiration. As an experiment I planted a heather late last summer. It will be interesting to see if I get to make use of any of your pruning advice. This winter has been especially harsh and it has been buried under several feet of snow for months now. I hope it makes it!

  8. Unlike yourself Alistair, I planted heathers in the 70’s when, along with conifers, they were all the rage here, although they do seem to have gone out of fashion now. I have none left today as they have become the victims of changing ideas in the garden plus I probably neglected to treat them as well as they deserved. They are a nurseryman’s dream to propagate, all you do is bury the plant a few inches deeper, filling in the center with compost and every shoot will root giving you many rooted cuttings when you dig it up the following year.

  9. So good to hear from you Vesna, I gave up on blotanical some time ago. I have to say they did a good job of bringing gardeners together.

  10. Holley, surprised me also, seems there are hundreds of Erica s native to South Africa. Perhaps most of them are found growing in the cooler areas high up in the mountains.

  11. I never thought that heather would take our hot summers, but now I wonder after reading Diana’s comment. Surely there’s a heather out there for me! 😉

  12. Dear Alistair,
    I have followed your blog via Blotanical, but the Blotanical stopped to work (I still don’t know if the new version of Blotanical is out.) So, today, I typed ‘Alistair, blog, gardening, Glasgow’ into my browser and manage to find your web site again! Can’t tell you how happy I am.
    I realised that I am much behind with all the events and posts of yours so after I post this, I am going to browse your blog more thoroughly. I bookmarked the page, of course.
    The heathers are beautiful but they need acid soil which I don’t have in my garden. I have only one heather bush that is over ten years old, but I keep adding peat and pine needles around it to low the soil pH.
    Greetings from Croatia.

  13. Hi Alistair
    I really love the heather. I hope you can plant it in the new garden. Any early bloomer is always such a treat.
    Your daughter’s jewelry is beautiful – what a clever idea!

  14. Hi Alistair – lovely white heather. I will make a note of it. Good tips too about pruning heathers. I wish I hadn’t had to learn the hard way!

  15. I should have done so Helene. We have an Alpine bed in the front garden which Myra is not fond of, looks like Heathers may find a place there, although I was keen to be a bit more adventurous.

  16. I have one poor embattled Erica baccans here. But when we move to False Bay I will try again – we have such a HUGE variety of indigenous ericas.

  17. Those heathers looked lovely Alistair , your comments regarding saying goodbye made me think what my son said to me this week when my wife and I said we might move house .
    He said you won’t move dad as you will not want to let someone else have your plants !
    In a way he’s right .

    Regards David

  18. hello Alistair, I remember you and Myra planting your heather bed, I can’t believe it’s 3 years ago, it turned out very nice, some beautiful plants and nice contrasts of foliage, Frances

  19. Heathers look so lovely, I have thought of getting some for the bottom of my garden for ages. They certainly look their best in a raised bed like yours. Did you dig up some of them and take with you down to Cheshire?

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