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The sight of a wild landscape covered with heathers in full bloom is breathtaking, so it is little surprise that people have found ways of introducing these rewarding plants into their gardens. Here they excel, offering color in the drabbest months and a huge diversity of height, habit, and other valuable characteristics in return for modest cultural demands. This comprehensive and highly informative account encompasses the heaths and heathers of the closely related genera Calluna, Daboecia, and Erica, whose shared characteristics and similar cultural requirements make them broadly compatible in a variety of garden situations. These plants have enhanced people's lives for millennia and a full discussion of their naming, uses and other interactions with humans is explored in detail. A fascinating account of the unique ecological niche they occupy - including their remarkable adaptation to make use of the nitrogen and phosphorus unavailable to most other plants - provides a fitting context for discussion of their specific cultural needs. With more than 700 cultivated varieties of Calluna alone, selecting the right heather for the right place can be daunting. The detailed selection of cultivated hardy heathers conveniently provides gardeners with the best garden performers while further lists allow them to search for heathers for specific qualities, such as heat tolerance, ground cover, or early summer blooming. Design options for displaying heathers at their best in the garden are provided along with advice on spacing, pruning, propagation, pests, and diseases. In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated work, classic wild-collected cultivars are described alongside the latest introductions to produce an invaluable reference that will inspire heather enthusiasts and gardeners for generations to come.
David Small is a leading authority on heathers. With his wife, Anne, David operated the specialist nursery Denbeigh Heathers for more than 25 years and has been growing heathers for half a century. The author of numerous magazine articles and co-author of several important heather reference books, he has been advising commercial growers and gardeners alike for more than three decades. David served for many years as chairman of The Heather Society in the UK and is now its honorary president. Keenly interested in living things for as long as she can remember, Ella May T. Wulff purchased her first heather and her first orchid at the Philadelphia Flower Show when she was a teenager. The heather was planted in her parents' garden, and the orchid went off to college with her. Ella May majored in botany at Smith College, and earned a master's degree in marine science from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She briefly studied landscape architecture at Oregon State University before moving to Connecticut, where she lived for 23 years before returning to Oregon. After moving into her own house, Ella May's interest in heathers was renewed in the 1980s when she was invited to the organizing meeting of the Northeast Heather Society. She soon joined the North American Heather Society (NAHS), and served as the NAHS's official representative at the First and Second International Heather Conferences in Europe. She served as the society's president from 2001 through 2004 and was on the organizing committee for the Third International Heather Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2008. Ella May has been published in several national gardening magazines, writes often for the NAHS's quarterly, Heather News, and has given numerous garden club lectures on various horticultural topics. She has created her own heather garden on a hillside west of Corvallis, Oregon, where she resides.