I've always been a big fan of coral bells (Heuchera) although they aren't the lowest maintenance perennial and will let you know when they aren't happy (usually by dying). Rich, moist soils are ideal with some degree of sunshine. Late season mulching around the crown of the plant will help mitigate the late winter freezing and thawing which can literally pop them out of the ground. Coral bells are not shade perennials and some of our best specimens are in full sun (with supplemental watering of course!). We have over 50 different kinds out in the gardens but there are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from and every year, dozens more can be found in our catalogs. Keep in mind that all Heuchera also go through a color transition from spring emergence to summer color and in many cases, a fall color as well. Seasonal coloration for even the same variety will vary too depending on sunlight and other factors. I mention this as some of these photos are taken in spring with vivid coloration while others are summer shots with some fading and color shifting. Regardless, these are all worthy of consideration as "orange-ish" Heuchera selections. I was excited over 15 years ago when 'Amber Waves' was introduced (see directly below). This is still a good one but many of the best modern oranges ('Caramel', 'Kassandra', etc.) have Heuchera villosa parentage which helps with vigor, hardiness, heat tolerance and summer color retention. Directly above is 'Dolce Crème Brulee' which is a personal favorite. Enjoy some of these varieties and understand that my interpretation of "orange" is a bit loose! :)
It was a partially cloudy day with some bright, invigorating sunshine at times. I was able to accomplish a lot of office work including the continuation of spring seed orders and some plant orders. Availability will become a serious concern very soon so I'll keep working on this next week before the Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Garden Expo at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center absorbs my attention next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We're selling tickets in our gift shop! We'll be well represented in our booth with staff and volunteers and I'll be doing five talks over those three days. See www.wigardenexpo.com/ for more details on this fun and educational event that might just get you through the winter doldrums. The extended weather forecast looks good so far for travel to Madison. Cheryl D. went out in the gardens this morning to collect lights while Urban was inside today processing lights for storage. Bill O. stopped by as did Steve, Dave and Blane. Janice worked on myriad projects and Kay worked on processing the beginnings of our incoming seeds. We also saw Mark S., Kathy P. and many others today.
'Caramel' with Euphorbia myrsinites
'Ginger Peach' (part sun)
'Ginger Peach' (full sun)
'Big Top Gold'
'Fire Alarm' (almost red!)
'Carnival Coffee Bean'
'Carnival Watermelon' (hints of pink)