I often get asked, what is your favourite perennial? It’s like asking a foodie what is your favourite flavor – just impossible to narrow down to one! But always in my top ten would fall coral bells. I love the variety in leaf colour, pattern and texture. Coral bells’ foliage enriches the garden show from spring to frost. Orderly clumps of rounded leaves add to the garden brocade with an incredible variety of offerings: classic green with spritely coral blooms bouncing on tall stems, to leaves of marmalade, deep purple, russet, green with maroon veining, grey green…palace purple was one of the first rich colours to arrive in greenhouses, and though quite common now, still a fave. The variety names are as much fun as the plants: caramel, lime rickey, green spice, solar power, berry smoothie, chocolate ruffles, electra and many, many more. Some have white or pink bell blooms adding to the variety. The blooms do make a long lasting, varied interest cut flower for bouquets. Coral bells can also double duty as a wonderful container plant, mixing with other foliage favourites like coleus, for a lavish part sun display.
Technical stuff – Coral bells/heuchera, hardy perennial to Zone 4, leaf clump height about 12” with flowers stemming up to 36” and spread of 12”+, full sun to part shade preferring light shade with moist, average to rich well drained soil, blooms late spring to summer.