Commonly known as elephant's ears, because of their large, leathery, oval leaves, bergenias have become fashionable again, thanks both to the number of new cultivars that have become widely available and to their usefulness in the garden. Bergenias are low maintenance, evergreen, will grow in sun or shade and tolerate a wide range of soils, including dry soils and clay.
'Abendglut' has vivid magenta flower spikes in spring and dark-green leaves, tinged with maroon, that turn bright maroon in winter. A favourite of Edwardian garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and plantswoman Beth Chatto, this sturdy plant should be planted in groups as ground cover, for edging borders or providing a foil for delicate foliage plants.
Garden care: After flowering remove faded flowerheads. Cut off damaged foliage in spring. Lift and divide large clumps in early spring.