Autumn Bride

Heuchera in the border in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Heuchera in the border (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Even though I’m petite, I tend to be attracted to big things.  That doesn’t just apply to plants, either.  I have a penchant for rescuing large animals, which has resulted in my husband limiting my pets by weight restriction, rather than quantity!  But, back to big plants: Most heuchera (coral bells) are attractive enough, with varied ranges of foliage from chartreuse to deep burgundy.  However, they usually prefer a lot of shade and most are quite small; limiting them to the front of the border or mixed with shorter perennials.  I do have several dainty coral bells sprinkled throughout my gardens, but the bigger, bolder leaves are really where I’m at.  And that’s where native Heuchera villosa ‘Autumn Bride’ comes down the aisle.

euchera 'Autumn Bride' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Heuchera ‘Autumn Bride’ border (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Unlike other heucheras, ‘Autumn Bride’ has stature with her larger leaves.  About the size of your hand, the foliage has multiple points and a thicker, fuzzier texture.  This heuchera stands out in the landscape with a form that works well next to huge hostas, like the popular ‘Sum & Substance’, but will also enjoy the companionship of smaller shrubs. It has the potential to grow up to 3′ tall and wide; in my garden it is about 2′ tall.  The bride’s bouquet is bountiful like the plant; with white flower spires shooting up like fireworks on tall 36″ stems in August.  Wonderfully, the leaves and flowers hold and remain attractive well into early winter, which provides a final hang out for the late season bees.

Heuchera 'Autumn Bride' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Heuchera ‘Autumn Bride’ (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Autumn Bride is a lovely addition to any garden where larger (but not enormous) leaves are wanted.  The lustrous green leaves add interest from spring through winter and will tolerate more sun than most, as long as there is adequate moisture.  In my garden, these plants have grown quickly, forming a border between hosta, shrubs and some daylilies.  Interestingly, the deer devoured my hosta, but completely ignored the heucheras.  In zones 4 – 8, they will flourish with little care. Their only downfall is slight scorching in severely hot dry summers, which is easily remedied with a light pruning.

For a dramatic alternative, I just discovered Heuchera villosa purpurea ‘Bronze Wave’, which has gorgeous glossy deep wine foliage.  Check it out at .

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A Garden for All