Wednesday Vignette – killer filler

Was pondering the role of Heucheras, and came to the conclusion that while they are not all that interesting in and of themselves, they make fab fillers. Their wide range of colors and sometimes two-tone leaves add an interesting depth and dimension when combined with more conspicuous fare. With so many nearly identical varieties, one can always find the perfect background players, tranquilizers, and supporting cast members to the more dramatic divas and prima donnas of the potted stage. Here are a couple I was experimenting with the other day.

The spectacular leaves of Canna 'Durban', and the vertical counterpoint of Phormium 'Rainbow sunrise' are somewhat subdued with the addition of the supple caramel tones of Heuchera  'Kassandra'.

The spectacular leaves of Canna ‘Durban’, and the vertical counterpoint of Phormium ‘Rainbow sunrise’ are somewhat subdued with the addition of the supple caramel tones of Heuchera ‘Kassandra’.

However, all that relative cool goes out the window when you add hot-orange asiatic lilies to the mix. But the Heucheras (Kassandra and a two-tone beauty I forgot the name of) provide the base notes, and sets a more civilized tone to the conversation. Heucheras never have to be told to use their indoor voices.

However, all that relative cool goes out the window when you add hot-orange asiatic lilies to the mix. Here the Heucheras (Kassandra and a two-tone beauty I forgot the name of) provide the base notes, and sets a more civilized tone to the conversation. Heucheras hardly ever have to be told to use their indoor voices.

This, of course, is not to say that a good screaming match is a great way to clear the air sometimes. Never a dull moment where sparks fly!

This, of course, is not to say that a good screaming match isn’t a great way to clear the air sometimes. Never a dull moment where sparks fly!

If hot colors are not your thing, you still have countless options with Heucheras. Here Heuchera ‘Snow Angel’ is paired with Canna ‘Stuttgart’, white Calla lilies, Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ and Miscanthus ‘Cabaret’. For now the pink Coral bell flowers are singing solo, but just wait until Stuttgart opens up its flowers. I haven’t yet seen it in bloom, but judging from Google Images, they sport both a rich peachy yellow, on through salmon, through pink. Could either be pretty cool, or it could be a complete flop. It would be interesting to see…

There are plenty of great burgundy and silver Heucheras that would make this potential arrangement more somber.  Anyway, the point is that one can have plenty of fun with these unassuming little garden staples. I know I did!

There are plenty of great burgundy and silver Heucheras that would make this potential arrangement a bit more somber, should you be so inclined. Anyway, the point is that one can have plenty of fun playing with these unassuming little garden staples. I know I did! 🙂

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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24 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – killer filler

  1. Beautiful demonstrations of your point. We have them all over our garden, but not so artfully olaced

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Seems like there are new varieties of Heucheras appearing every ten minutes which is fortunate for those who like to play with them in pot combinations. You’ve shown some great examples. The fact that they’re evergreen and some change color in the winter are added bonuses of these versatile lovelies.

  3. Even though I’m not a fan of the Heuchera I am a firme believer that every plant has its place and you’ve definitely used them to good effect. Oddly my WV also has to do with filling a container:
    http://www.thedangergarden.com/2016/05/wednesday-vignette-now-theres-idea.html

    • annamadeit says:

      It’ true! It’s all in the juxtaposition. I never thought the day would come when I would say this, but here goes. I bought not one, but THREE(!!!) Petunias the other day. I will leave it up to others to decide whether this was an act of regression or forward development. All I can say is that it was in the name of art, or attempt thereof.

  4. Your peachy Heuchera does a nice job of tempering the hot colors of those fabulous lilies. Heucheras come in such a wonderful range of foliage colors now. I’m always tempted by them at the nursery but they’re not the best investment here as they turn crispy (even in partial shade) when the temperatures soar. My Wednesday Vignette is wildlife-related: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2016/05/wednesday-vignette-wildlife-sightings.html

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, they can most definitely be on the pricy side – especially those with the splashiest, newest colors. If I lived where they would turn crispy even in shade, I don’t think I would want to spend the money either. Even here, I find I would often want to spend my money on more interesting things. To tell you the truth – all those great colors aside, my most favorite coral bells of all, are the good ole fashioned ones with the green leaves and the beautifully deep, red flowers. 🙂

  5. Alan Lorence says:

    I agree with Kris: they are great in mid-spring here (now) but later in the summer they start to fade. I like the trusty ones that reseed and appear in new spots in the garden — I’m tired of wasting money on them as expensive annuals. They are so tempting every spring though…

    My WV contribution: http://www.itsnotworkitsgardening.com/2016/05/wednesday-vignette-bashful.html

  6. rickii says:

    I love some of the Heucheras’ foliage…if the darned things just wouldn’t insist on flowering. That next to last shot has my blood racing.
    Here’s my WV: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/5425

    • annamadeit says:

      I agree – for the most part the flowers are just bothersome, and do nothing to enhance the foliage. At least not for the two of us, apparently! 🙂

  7. Alison says:

    Oh My, that orange combo with the lily is so bright! I love some Heucheras. Not all are robust. My WV post is here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2016/05/wednesday-vignette.html

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s a loud one, isn’t it? I appreciated the Heucheras I have even more after the heat and drought of our last summer. I have them planted mostly out of the sun, and they proved remarkably drought tolerant. But the ones in a bit of sun fared a lot less well. Which ones are your favorites?

  8. I have a soft spot for Heucheras. I’ve experimented with 2 varieties that can handle full sun in my containers. Not too shabby. I like the container with ‘snow angel’ 🙂 Here’s my WV post http://www.therainydaygardener.com/2016/05/5416-wednesday-vignette.html

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Jenni! So, now you have to tell us which ones are your faves… I have several of the really dark red ones, and they have fared well through all kinds of abuse from me and their surroundings. I very much appreciate plants that not only tolerate but even sail through what I throw at them!

  9. Alas, I wish that My Pirate wouldn’t weed the heucheras out of the garden! I love your combinations. My WV is about a container too. http://www.gravylessons.com/journal2/2016/5/4/wednesday-vignette-overflowing-containers

  10. Evan says:

    Love the orange combo! And I like to think I prefer more subtle colors. Ha! Fillers are an important part of every garden, from a single container to a large estate. I don’t have any heucheras, but just planted my first heucherella. I’ve already forgotten the name. I picked it up at Little Prince, but it isn’t on their website. I’d love to know which heucheras you’ve had perform reliably, as I’ve heard some of them fizzle out or get leggy after awhile. Not all breeders trial their plants properly before introduction. My WV is another set of shots from my last hike in the gorge, with a little attempt at philosophy. http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2016/05/wednesday-vignette-tenacity-finding.html

    • annamadeit says:

      I always find that when I say I like something more than something else, I immediately prove myself wrong, so I’m slowly learning to say that I like just about everything, as long as its in the right place. I have been humbled by myself far too many times… LOL! I don’t even know which heucheras I have. In my first year or two here, I liked the dark red and silvery ones. They are still around, despite neglect and abuse. Some got leggy, but could be divided and replanted. I have rescued some lime ones, and l bought a bright red one called Fire Chief for some combo I have long since forgotten what it was. Haven’t planted it yet, and I think it is barely alive. I don’t have any of the caramel ones, but they are fun to play with. 🙂

  11. hoov says:

    Here an expensive annual, unfortunately. Even the native species don’t like my garden. Well, I will enjoy your photos instead.

    • annamadeit says:

      Just like I drool over all your fabulous photos of the things I can’t grow! Thank heavens for blogger friends in all the different climate zones! 🙂

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