Winter-Spring (acid, neutral or alkaline soil)
Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’ AGM: Dark green foliage. 15cm (6in) in height and 45cm (18in) wide. Flowers of deep rose-pink to magenta
Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’ AGM: Mid to bright-green foliage, to 20cm (8in) in height and 45cm (18in) wide. Flowers white
Erica carnea f. aureifolia 'Foxhollow' AGM: Yellow-green young foliage, becoming reddish-orange in winter. 25cm (10in) by 45cm (18in). Flowers pale-pink to pale-purple
Erica × darleyensis ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM: Bright green foliage, tipped cream in spring. 50cm (20in) in height x 1m (3½ft) wide. Flowers purple, darker near the tip, in late winter and early spring
Erica × darleyensis f. aureifolia ‘Tweety’: Golden foliage, turning to orange in winter. 30cm (12in) x 45cm (18in). Magenta flowers.
Erica lusitanica f. aureifolia ‘George Hunt': Golden-yellow foliage. Height 1.5m (5ft). Scented, white flowers opening from pink buds from late winter to mid spring. Neutral to acid soil
Erica arbora var. alpina: Medium-sized evergreen shrub to 2m (6½ft) in height, with bright green foliage. Small, fragrant white flowers. Neutral to acid soil
Summer-Autumn (acid soil)
Calluna vulgaris 'Dark Beauty' (PBR) AGM: Dark green foliage. 25cm (10in) in height. Spikes of dark cerise flowers deepening to ruby-red
Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly’ AGM: Red-brown foliage, becoming bright orange red in winter. 50cm (20in) x 50cm (20in). Flowers purplish-pink
Erica cinerea ‘Pink Ice’ AGM: Dark green foliage. 20cm (8in) x 40cm (18in). Flowers clear light rose-pink (tolerates neutral to alkaline soil)
Calluna vulgaris ‘Robert Chapman’ AGM: Golden-yellow foliage which turns coppery-red in winter and spring. Height 25cm (10in). Light purple flowers
Calluna vulgaris ‘Spring Cream’ AGM: Dark green foliage tipped with cream in the early summer. Height 30cm (1ft). Flowers single and white
Autumn to winter (acid soil)
Calluna vulgaris ‘Garden Girls’ bud bloomers series are a range of callunas suitable for containers as well as borders. The buds remain closed, but give plenty of colour for several months
Calluna vulgaris 'Alicia' (PBR) (Garden Girls Series) AGM: is a "bud-blooming" heather to 25cm (10in), with very long-lasting white flowers in late summer and autumn
Planting combinations with heathers
The best planting companions may include pines (all sizes to choose from), white stemmed birches, mountain ash species and cultivars (Sorbus), Cornus, acid-loving Gaultheria mucronata and Vaccinium. Grasses can produce attractive foliage contrasts.
Add spring-flowering bulbs such as snowdrops, Iris histrioides and Iris reticulata cultivars.
White flowered heather such as Erica carnea f. alba ‘Whitehall’ with cream edged holly (Ilex ‘Argentea Marginata'), for example, along with lemon and white blooming Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Jenny’ is an example of a planting combination and could also be used in containers. Calluna vulgaris ‘Garden Girls’ bud bloomers series are also suitable for containers.