A Passion for Heucheras

We were very fortunate to be joined at our meeting, on 21st March, by Richard and Vicky Fox.  They are the owners of Jubilee Cottage Nursery in Cheshire.  Over the last 33 years they have been growing Heuchera, Heucherella and Tiarella and now hold the National Collection in all three Genus.  So far they have won a row of 11 gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show.  Their displays at the many national flower shows are always stunning and their tally of 130 medals is well deserved. Plants can be ordered from their websitewww.plantagogo.com. 

Vicky told us how she had grown up on her parents’ nursery, helping them out with, amongst other things, dahlias, chrysanthemums, coleus and tomatoes which were all sold from a little shop at the nursery and from a stall in Manchester market.  When Vicky and Richard were first married they farmed sheep and kept ducklings.  Vicky’s father had been supplying her with plants for her garden and in the late 80s she and Richard changed from farming to growing plants themselves.  They grow a variety of perennial plants but are best known for their heucheras.  Their nursery is one acre in size and they do all the work themselves – they are open for visitors when booked in advance online.  

We learnt that all heucheras are bred from the North American species.  The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus in honour of Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677-1747) a German physician and botanist.  Heuchera are renowned for their coloured foliage.  Tiarella have beautiful shaped leaves with distinct markings and when the two are crossed they are known as heucherella and take on the characteristics of both.  They all flower and the bees love them.  They are woodland plants but some will thrive in sunny positions.  Richard and Vicky had brought many plants for sale and were able to advise on the best situations for each one.  Vicky feeds her plants regularly with an alpaca liquid fertiliser and a slow release fertiliser once a year.  The plants can be prone to vine weevil infestation and this can be controlled with nematodes watered onto the soil around the plant in August.  

The enthusiasm for their plants shone through and it is little wonder that Richard and Vicky have become so well known in the horticultural world.  Their talk and plants were also greeted with great enthusiasm by the Biddenham gardening audience.  We were joined by ten visitors and we hope you enjoyed the evening and will join us next month.

On Tuesday 18th April Darren Derrigo will advise us on how to cope with excessive heat and lack of rain in the garden.  His talk is entitled “Diluted”.  The meeting will be open to all members, new members and visitors.  We look forward to seeing you at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.  

                                                                                                        Linda Truscott 

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