Sunday, April 20, 2014

I love Erica!

Winter-blooming Erica

Yes, I love Erica and was shocked when I found her dead in our garden this spring after our frigid winter—when nighttime temperatures in early January approached zero degrees Fahrenheit.

I love Erica x darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink’, sometimes called heather, for two reasons.  First, it’s the only plant that blooms through the winter in our gardens, usually from October into May.  I love finding Erica’s pink flowers poking through a crust of snow.  And second, our local bambits here in Deer Country don’t browse on Erica.

But the “dead of winter” 2013-2014 left our mature Erica dead indeed.  Just days after I had cut back its brittle, dry branches and dug up its roots in late March, I found and bought a new Erica at our local Lowe’s Home Improvement store.  Within hours I had planted the new Erica where we can admire it for many winters to come.  It’s still in bloom, and when the temperatures rise into the 50s, bumblebees already have come to sip nectar.

I love winter-flowering Erica.  The deer don’t.  Long live Erica.
Freeze-killed Erica, guarded by Teddy
Long live our new Erica!