June 02, 2006

Peach Flambé got flamed

Peach Flambe huecheraI am trying to establish an orange and purple theme in my front beds. It's not working very well, but I keep trying anyway. So when one corner of the bed turned out to be shadier than expected, making some plant shuffling necessary, my thoughts turned immediately to the new heucheras. Orange foliage! I hadn't been too impressed with Amber Waves or Marmalade but the pictures of Peach Flambé were too much to resist.

The bareroot plant I put in struggled though. As the first tiny leaves emerged, they would promptly get chewed. Slug bait and nocturnal checks for earwigs didn't help and eventually, the poor thing succumbed. I was bound and determined to get my Peach Flambé, so I got a big healthy potted one, which is what you see in the picture. One way or another, I will win!

I did notice as I removed what was left of the old rootball that there was a large number of pillbugs and sowbugs in that bed. These are not normally considered a problem in the garden, but when there are too many bugs and not enough decaying plant matter for them, they will chew on living material. This bed doesn't have as much mulch on it as the others, so I'm thinking that if I put down a layer of dried leaves (I still have some left from fall) topped with aged manure and/or compost, that should give the critters something more constructive to do with their time as well as improving the quality of the soil.

It's amazing how many pest and disease problems can be solved by creating healthy soil. It's not a quick fix, of course, but the best one in the long run. In the short run, this larger heuchera has enough of a head start to hold its own. And I will have to learn to be more attentive to my bare root plants.


GardenJoy3 said...

Heucheras are a favorite of mine and I have had good seasons with them starting from last year .. I have the orange ones .. peach flambe .. marmalade wave .. and they are gorgeous against the black mulch in the front garden bed .. I just bought "Frosted Mint" today .. could NOT resist ..
Have you ever been obsessed by a particular type of plant Janet ?
I hope it settles down now for this year ! haha
Joy : )

Janet said...

No, I don't get obsessed with particular plants, although lilies come close. Too eclectic in my tastes, I guess. Or maybe my attention span is just too short.