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October's plant of the month is the heuchera

October's plant of the month is the heuchera

October's plant of the month is the heuchera, the plant that changed the way we look at leaves forever. Heucheras take coloured foliage to a whole new level, with varieties in every shade from deepest near-black through red, silver, amber and lime-green. Their sheer diversity allows you to experiment with different effects whatever your gardening style: in fact no garden should be without a few of these versatile grow-anywhere plants.

Try midnight-leaved Heuchera 'Obsidian' among pure white wood anemones for a strikingly contemporary black-and-white pairing in spring. If cottage gardening is more your style there's pretty pink-leaved 'Georgia Peach' or the frothy edges of 'Purple Frills'. They'll also contribute pretty sprays of pale pink or purple bells in early summer, topping off those sumptuously colourful and often evergreen leaves to perfection.

You can grow heucheras in most spots in the garden: they're ideal for containers, hanging baskets and windowboxes, and are perfectly happy in shade – even problematic dry shade. They're the ultimate low-maintenance plant, thriving on neglect: a little water in very dry spells to keep new growth coming through, and they'll be perfectly content. There can be few plants which give so much, yet ask so little in return.