Monday, December 30, 2013

Unexpected Winter Color

Here we are at the ass-end of the year, a time when much of the garden is dry sticks and sickly-looking yellowed leaves. It's times like these when a cluster of colorful evergreens would be a welcome sight from any window in the house. I don't actually have anything like that, but it would be nice. What I do have is a few scattered blue spruces and some tiny hollies. Yawn.

And then there are the 'Sweet Tea' heucherellas. Just a couple of colorful little blotches tucked away in an otherwise brown and crispy corner. Anyone who's been bitten by the hoochie bug knows that heucheras and heucherellas come in a rainbow of fantastic and surprising foliage colors. 'Sweet Tea' has dramatic dark veins and beautiful cinnamony orange colors in the summer. I picked up a couple of them from the Home Depot just when summer had given way to fall. The leaves were lovely then, with their spicy oranges, cidery yellows and peachy pinks contrasting with magenta undersides. You should have seen 'em ... but I didn't think to take pictures.

Then the weather really cooled down and most things in the garden started looking rather tattered and soggy. That's when 'Sweet Tea' took the opportunity to grab the spotlight and went totally and brilliantly ... red.

 What a delightful surprise! Now, in late December, these gorgeous little beasts are still dazzling in bright, bold reds and rich, raisiny burgundies. I'm so glad I thought to take pictures this time. Clearly, I'm going to be needing some more hoochies in my garden next year.