Heaths and heathers are beautiful, undemanding plants that require full sun, and cool soil with perfect drainage. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens' mild maritime climate and sandy, acidic soils create an ideal environment for them. Broad differences in size and form, in addition to the wide variety of colors, allow exquisite arrangements of heathers and heaths in even small gardens. Flower colors are many and are complemented with foliage of copper, pink, gold, silvery gray, and almost infinite shades of green. Heaths (Erica) have needle-like foliage blooming early winter through the summer. Heathers (Calluna) have tighter, overlapping scale-like foliage blooming late summer through the fall.
In September 2010, the American Public Gardens Association recognized the Heath and Heather Collection at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens as a Collection of National Significance through its Plant Collections Network. The Plant Collections Network program coordinates a continent-wide approach toward plant germplasm preservation and recognizes high standards of plant curation management.
Plant Collections Network program participants are selected through a rigorous application and site review process. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens stands among a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections curated at the highest professional level. Participation in the Plant Collections Network means that the Gardens have agreed to make their collection available for increased distribution and research and to promote public awareness of the importance of preserving our horticultural heritage.
The Heath and Heather Collection at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is distinguished by its diversity of species and cultivated varieties beautifully displayed and cared for by its knowledgeable staff. The collection has been accepted after a three-year provisional status in the Plant Collections Network during which we strengthened plant records procedures to further enhance this fine collection.