Some people think a heather garden is unfashionable these days, which we personally think is a shame. We’ve always loved heather, and our naturally acidic soils in Saddleworth lend themselves to growing it to an extent that many gardeners from lime rich areas would envy.

There is just once species of heather, Calluna vulgaris. Its pink and white flowers are beloved by pollinators, sometimes fragrant, and as an evergreen heather can add welcome colour and interest to the winter garden. There are also different ‘shapes’ available, from prostrate to bushy, trailing to upright, a variety of sizes of plant from centimetres high to over a metre, and a variety of foliage colours including some attractive yellow and glaucous forms.

Autumn and winter flowering heathers which have already flowered can have a light trim now. This isn’t essential but can help to keep the plants looking younger and less leggy. Shear back the stems to just behind the seeds, where there is usually another set of leaves waiting to grow away. But don’t cut back ‘beyond the green’ into the bare wood as it will be unlikely to grow back. Be sure to distinguish the seed head from the incipient flower – you wouldn’t be the first to mix them up!

If you want to see what the RHS say about looking after heather, you can follow this link:

We leave you with a couple of shots of a recent job pruning heather – and a photo taken one sunny January day a year or two ago of a patch of heather abuzz with bees, just to cheer you up on a January day 😊