Best of the bunch - Heuchera

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These value-for-money perennials provide not only stems bearing tiny summer flowers attractive to bees, but also wonderful foliage through the autumn, in shades from acid green to copper and deep burgundy.

The darker shades look stunning in summer and autumn pots alongside lighter green spiky ornamental grasses and silver foliage plants. Some varieties are almost evergreen and have a good weed-suppressing habit at the front of the border.

Heucheras like a well-drained but fertile soil in a sunny or lightly shaded spot. They don’t like sticky, wet clay. If your soil is thin and poor, dig in plenty of well-rotted organic matter and plant deeply, with only the crown above the 
ground. Mulch well each spring. They should be divided every three years or so, or they become woody. Good varieties include H. micrantha diversifolia Palace Purple, which offers the 
deepest foliage of purple bronze, with plants growing to 60cm (24in) and bearing white flowers, while Chocolate Ruffles has large brown and burgundy leaves 
and Key Lime Pie has soft mounds of acid-green leaves with silvery marbling.