Collections of the same plant can be so interesting. Breeding and hybridizing and so on has created tons of varieties of all sorts of plants. To name just a few which come to mind: hostas, irises, daylillies, heucheras, tomatoes, coneflowers, and salvias. I love them all but only have a few 'collections' of plants.
I have several collections, both in and out of the home, but my main plant collection is of heucheras. Heucheras are small evergreen plants which come in all the colors you can imagine. Last fall when I had to rework a rather large and shady garden, I decided to consolidate all of my heucheras. And! I even went a step further and labeled them (at least with the names of the ones I knew). I am pleased with the effect. Ugly steel labels excepted, since they serve a vital function in the garden.
I have a bunch of different varieties of other plants but this is the only collection I can see all at once and enjoy up close and personal as a collection. That is why I call it my 'main' collection. Even a non-gardener can tell it is a collection and I love explaining to people that all of these plants are heucheras.
Unfortunately, plants are not like collecting spoons or knick knacks or whatever, you can't consolidate them and move them around as the whim suits you. Could you imagine trying to display a collection of hostas? Maybe you could plant several varieties together but never all the varieties growing your garden I'll wager. I know I couldn't. That is why heucheras are ideal displayed as a plant collection.
At any rate, consolidating the heucheras, also known as coral bells, has enabled me to see their sometimes subtle differences, and sometimes great differences. One thing I have noted in my garden is that some heucheras winter over better than others. Peach Melba and Amber Waves were both duds in my garden. Whereas all of the purple varieties such as 'Cathedral Bells', 'Regina', 'Prince of Silver', and 'Palace Purple' overwinter wonderfully. I am especially fond of the heucheras which have red blooms. The regular red coral bells and 'Snow Angel' have great blooms. I also like 'Mocha Mint' and 'Vanilla Spice'. Both have done well for me.
Heucheras are easily divided in the fall. In fact, if there is one fault I find with them besides the fact they can look a bit ratty in the heat of summer, is the fact they do need dividing every year or every other year or so. I have found this is very important to the plant as the center of the main heuchera can get very woody and produce less and less and foliage. The bonus of dividing is you get several new and FREE heucheras to add to your collection! I try to mass mine in groups of three, though with my consolidation and dividing marathon last fall, I wound up with some groups of 6, 7, and even more than 10. Quite a collection and happily living together ....
in the garden....