The delicate little flowers of the Heuchera
Many large apartment buildings hire services to come in and tend to their front greenery. It is common to see bulbs planted in the fall, the bulbs taken out after they blossom late spring, then to be replaced by annuals. The process then repeats...
Part of this may be the need to keep the front of these buildings looking their best at all times, or the relative ease of taking care of 'temporary plants' for just one season.
These Heuchera (Coral Bells) were put in last year, and survived quietly as straggly little seedlings. It took them an entire year of getting settled, but they have filled in beautifully. This year they only had to plant a few Impatiens for accent color; the ferns and Heuchera filled in the rest. The ivy-shaped foliage is saturated deep greens and purples, which makes the bright reds of the Impatiens stand out beautifully.
In general I like watching perennials grow and recognizing them again from year to year more than watching the instantly beautiful beds of annuals come and go.. I know I have mentioned this plant before, but it really is a great planter addition. There are many hybrids now available in a range of colors, but the darker foliage varieties have fared better in my garden. They enjoy shade are hardy and love to be divided up, so they make a great plant to share with friends.
matt at apartment therapy dot com