Mediterranean Pink Winter Heath
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Chipper spring-like color during the darkest winter days! Mediterranean Pink Winter Heath is a sassy winter-blooming Accent that struts its stuff when most other plants are fast asleep. Masses of teeny-tiny, lavender-pink bells brave the cold in defiance of the so-called dormant season. It blooms for a long, long time, too—in the right conditions it can provide flower power from November clear through April! Use this peppy, low-mounding Accent as an edger in a sunny mixed border, as a highlight in a rock garden, or as a four-season filler in a low meadow-style planting. Pure joy.
As you can probably guess from the name, Mediterranean Pink hails from Europe. This is a spontaneously occurring hybrid of two species of Heaths: the Winter Heath from central and southern Europe and the Irish Heath from Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. The hybrid first appeared at a nursery in Darley Dale, a small town in England. (Mediterranean Pink Winter Heath is also known as ‘Darley Dale’.) Heaths, closely related to Heathers, are interesting plants that tend to grow in wide-open spaces where the soil is naturally acidic.
Winter Heaths impart a romantic feel to the landscape, bringing to mind the picturesque country sides where they are native. Their tiny, needle-like leaves and clouds of dainty flowers create a dreamy look. Juxtapose Mediterranean Pink Winter Heath with bold-leaved plants to accentuate its fine, frothy texture.
How to Grow
Grow Mediterranean Pink Winter Heath in full sun for best results. It doesn’t like to be shaded by other plants. Soil is important, too. It should be acidic, free-draining, and well supplied with organic matter, yet not overly rich. Heaths are plants that are adapted to peaty, low-nutrient soils. (Heavy clay is a no-go.) Provide regular water during dry spells. Winter Heaths thrive in cool-summer places and do best in this country in the Pacific Northwest and the milder parts of New England. They tend to suffer in the hot and humid Southeast, although Mediterranean Pink is one of the most durable in that region.
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