November 20, 2017

The Heather on the Hill

'Kramer's Red' heath

Janine Pineo Photo - 'Kramer's Red' heath

Garden Maine admits to loving old musicals, which is why having a patch of heath and heather has always been a dream since watching “Brigadoon.” The trick is finding a species cold-hardy enough for Maine. Erica carnea is one that is tough enough for Zone 5, which is a good portion of the state. The pictured plant was photographed at the Bangor Garden Show a few years ago and is ‘Kramer’s Red,’ a choice cross between Erica carnea and E. erigena, with striking magenta flowers. And the difference between heath and heather? Erica is the heath, while Calluna is the heather, and the difference is hard to detect unless you really love to figure these things out. Hmmm. We’ll leave those details to the botanists and just enjoy the heather on the hill. With the heath.