The University Gardens
The Collections

The heather garden

A collection of heathers, other Ericaceae, and plants from similar habitats set out in a series of themed displays

Michael Pirie, UiB

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In 1996 the Friends of the Arboretum donated a heather garden to commemorate the Arboretum’s 25th anniversary. The garden was placed near the greenhouses, in a prominent position with a favorable local climate, and was opened on June 6, 1999, when Hanne Katinka Hofgaard, head of the Friends of the Arboretum, handed it over to then director of the Arboretum, Per Harald Salvesen.

The garden was divided into 7 themes, as indicated on the heather garden map. Over the years, some of these species/cultivars proved more robust than others, and not all of the original plantings are still recognizable today:

  1. Transition to the Southern Hemisphere
  2. “Flowering heathers”
  3. The patchwork
  4. Mixed company
  5. Limestone rock (moved to the other side of the road, instead of no. 6)
  6. Acidic and infertile rocks and sandy soils (since superseded by other plantings)
  7. The bog garden

Between the road through the heather garden and the parking lot at the garage is an area where we aimed to show heathers in combination with other plants, such as spring bulbs, rock plants, and dwarf conifers. Clearly the conifers, part of a larger collection that extends in the direction of Blondehuset, are now no longer strictly ‘dwarf’.

References (download here)

  • Handeland, S. 2000. – Lynghagen i Arboretet blir til. – Årringen 2000 (4): 24-32
  • Petterssen, E. B. & Handeland, S. 2001. – Lyng i Det norske arboret. Del 1. Vårlyng. – Årringen 2001 (5): 4-22
  • Petterssen, E. B. & Handeland, S. 2002. – Lyng i Det norske arboret. Del 2. Sommerblomstrende lyng. – Årringen 2002 (6): 65-93
  • Petterssen, E. B. & Handeland, S. 2003. – Lyng i Det norske arboret. Del 3. Klokkelyng og purpurlyng, de norske Erica-artene. – Årringen 2003 (7): 31-46