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Shy - but beautiful!

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I love Hellebores! Most of them hang their heads down – to see the flower in all its beauty, you have to do one of two things -

Lie on the ground and look up

Or….go over and lift the flower to take a look!

I have been building up quite a collection of Hellebores during the five years we’ve been here. One of the first ones I planted didn’t flower for the first three years – so last year I gave it a severe talking-to, and this year it has a bud!

This purple one was planted at the same time, and it flowers well every year.

I also have a cream coloured one, which has grown into quite a large plant now.

However, a very different sort of Hellebore is always the first to bloom. Helliborus foetidus is an imposing plant – the lime green flowers contrast well with the dark leaves. I have to remember not to let it form seedpods, though, as it seeds itself all over the garden otherwise!

Last year, one of the plants produced some unusually coloured buds and flowers, for a change!

The next Hellebore might be called the ‘Christmas Rose’, (Helleborus niger)but it doesn’t often oblige on ‘the day’. This year, it had a lovely fat bud, and I hoped for a Christmas treat – then the weather turned icy, and the bud refused to open.

It has opened in the last few days – I took this photo today.

I went to get some plants for my new pots – and found a rather different version of H. niger. It looks as though someone has been painting the petals! I think it’s beautiful.

Helleborus niger ‘Praecox’

While I was looking at the pots with a view to buying the smaller two, I fell for a new Hellebore. This one holds its flowers up well. No lying flat to admire the beautiful flowers on this plant!

Helleborus x hybridus ’Walberton’s Rosemary’

I thought I recognised the ‘Walberton’ name – I have another one obviously related – I planted it last year, and it does hold its flowers up in the same way.

Helleborus x hybridus ’Walberton’s Ivory Prince’

I used to call the Lenten Rose ‘Helleborus orientalis’, but these days, so much work is going on at specialist Nurseries to create new cultivars, that we are now asked to call them ‘H x hybridus’.

Some of my Hellebores have double flowers – which I love.

Others are semi-double, and are termed ‘Anemone flowered’ Hellebores.

When I was thinking about planting up the new pots, I decided that as Hellebores have a very long flowering period, I would place a Hellebore in the centre of each of the pots.

This one is Helleborus argutifolius ‘Silver Lace’, planted with two Carex ‘Jenneke’ and Galanthus elwessii.

‘Silver Lace’ from the front -

…and from the back of the flower.

In the other pot, I’ve got Helleborus x hybridus ‘Winter Moonbeam’ with Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ and the same snowdrops. Black and white, just to make a change!

All Hellebores are beautiful – I am waiting for some new ones, babies last year, to open their buds for the first time. I know that one at least is a double white one. I can’t wait!

Hellebores may start to flower in the winter, but they keep on and on and bridge the gap into spring. What could be more beautiful or welcome?

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Comments

 

Lovely blog, how do you stop them invading everywhere though?

26 Jan, 2010

 

They are lovely Spritz, I`m really envious because I still haven`t got any and it`s not for want of trying...........

26 Jan, 2010

 

You have lots. They are early with you. It's nice to see them brighten up the winter.

26 Jan, 2010

 

Hywel - I've posted some photos from last year's plants, although some are in flower now. Sorry if I confused you!

Denise, I wish they would seed themselves! They just don't - except the H. foetidus.

Ll - what happens to yours?

26 Jan, 2010

 

Sorry, it doesn't take much to confuse me anyway lol. I should have realised.

26 Jan, 2010

 

Enjoyed the blog very much. The varieties that you have got are amazing and the way they can be combined with other plants - love them :~)))

26 Jan, 2010

 

I agree, Spritz - all hellebores are lovely. You have a stunning collection there.
:-))

26 Jan, 2010

 

I have just got two they are the lime one and a deep purple .Yours are lovey so many different ones.

26 Jan, 2010

 

Lovely blog Spritz: I like the look of the semi double pink.

27 Jan, 2010

 

They are lovely plants, I didn't realise how many different kinds of flowers they have. Your collection is gorgeous.

27 Jan, 2010

 

you can't beat these, you have some lovely ones :)

27 Jan, 2010

 

I like all of them but I think that the doubles are my favourite.

27 Jan, 2010

 

A smashing collection !!

27 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks - I have to admit that I love them all - but if I had to choose just one, it would be a double. :-))

27 Jan, 2010

 

The anemone flowered ones are beautiful, as are the doubles but the upward facing ones are great for the creaky-backed.

27 Jan, 2010

 

C-c-c-reak! I can hear it from here! Yes - maybe that's why the breeders are working on them? To appeal to the 'silver market'....

27 Jan, 2010

 

Lovely pics,Spritz..another" must have " for my list...so many,I'm running out of paper :o).I wouldn't have thought of putting them in pots,a better idea for my small garden.What kind of soil and conditions are suitable for them?I like the doubles and upward facing too....

27 Jan, 2010

 

lovely blog barbara and i agree so pretty, i like the double ones to, great pictures :o))

27 Jan, 2010

 

Youv some real beautys there Spritz :)Thanx 4 showing them :)

27 Jan, 2010

 

Super photos....I often `sacrifice` a couple of the flowers on some of mine and float them in a bowl of water...that way I can bring them into the house and really enjoy their beauty..and they last ages.....worth trying if you`ve never done it!

27 Jan, 2010

 

What a great show of such a fantastic Plant.
So very, very clever of you.

I could not take my eyes of them, love the cream one.

Thank you, for giving me such pleasure!!!!

Freesiaperson x

27 Jan, 2010

 

You never cease to amaze me Spritz, with your knowledge and passion for all things flowery I can't wait for my visit! I do think you will have to evict me when it gets late though! Lol ;~))

27 Jan, 2010

 

Bloomer - I'll PM you.

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I enjoy flowers - (can't you tell -lol) and I couldn't live without something in bloom in the garden.

Ian - you'll have to come several times to see various plants, then - you won't see Hellebores in June! :-)))))

27 Jan, 2010

mad
Mad
 

Spritz you have some lovely collections of plants, and these are superb.
I prefer your second method of seeing their faces, rather than the first!
That is good to get one that actually does look upwards though. They are wonderful plants, especially as they are so early. They're so elegant I think.

27 Jan, 2010

 

Loved your blog and looking at all your hellebores.

27 Jan, 2010

 

Great blog there Spritz - you have a beautiful collection - I too love Hellebores and have ordered some called "Double Queen Lenton Rose" don't know what that means, but they look lovely in the catalogue....lol

27 Jan, 2010

 

Is that a standing invite then? Lol

27 Jan, 2010

 

Why not, Ian? LOL.

Thanks, Mad, Clarice and Busyl. :-))

Post a photo, Busyl, won't you! Andrewr has a double purple one - I'm thinking of creeping round Bracknell with a fork one night......LOL. Do you think he'd notice that it isn't there any more?

27 Jan, 2010

 

Spritz I really do not know what happens to mine,I have tried many times in various area in the garden,had them in the borders, in the open and also in the shade, I`m waiting for some new ones to be delivered,so any advice will be greatly appreciated........

27 Jan, 2010

 

Mine are planted facing east, so they get some sun (haha) in the morning. They seem to enjoy dappled shade, rather than full sun. My soil is neutral, and quite fertile, but Andrew grows them as well in his acid soil, so I don't think that's a factor. I wish I knew the answer, Ll.

Why not post a question?

27 Jan, 2010

 

How I envy you that collection Spritz. I have quite a few - but they are very young yet - and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they have come through the big freeze...I keep looking for signs of life ...and there are a few little shoots appearing so my hopes are rising! I do like the idea of the upward flowering ones...I already have a good many hellebores in pots..and a couple of Walbertons I think...although the birds have a habit of whipping out all the labels - no matter how far in I stick them. I think it has become a game with them...LOL
I know what you mean about the Foetidus ones seeding - I supplied the local jumble sale stalls for years with seedlings duly potted up!!

27 Jan, 2010

 

You have so many lovely Hellibores..........mine has been eaten by something.......

27 Jan, 2010

 

Really? That does surprise me, Holly. I'll have to look in my pests and diseases book and see if Hellebores have any 'critters' that like them - my snails don't touch them, thank goodness.

Alz - maybe you wouldn't mind talking to Bloomer, please - she wants to grow some in pots, and I haven't done it before. I gave her a bit of help, but I can't speak from experience as you can..

27 Jan, 2010

 

Hi there Spritz and Holly.....I have to say that snails are a pest with my Hellebores - but I try to keep an eye open and remove the biggest ones that distort and eat the young leaves....I have even had to sneak a few slug pellets under a tile round the place in bad wet years. They can also suffer from aphids - and one famous year I found the blooms looking suspiciously "green" - until I put on my glasses - and realised they were infested big time - or should read "bug time" LOL

As for the pots of them, Bloomer ....well that all started when I was given some rather pretty tiny plants from a neighbour who has a wonderful collection....and to keep them "safe" I potted them up and they thrived!! Just used a big deep pot - a cauldron really -with lashings of home grown compost and there they did very well.
We have very acid conditions here and LOTS of leaf mould - which I encourage by sweeping the fallen leaves into the beds and under the hedges....lazy mans mould my grandfather called it!! I now have several pots and I keep them in semi-shade under deciduous trees and they seem to do fine....I think it is a misnomer to say they grow in deep shade - well in the UK anyway ..most of them need more light than that or they go leggy and don't flower so well. A good mulch every year and they do fine...and a lot seed merrily as you know! Just remember not to let the pots get sodden wet ...as Hellebores hate wet feet ! Well mine do anyway!!

28 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks for the imfo Alzheimer.... i think it might be the snails in my case.

28 Jan, 2010

 

a wonderful collection. have you any of the ashwood nursery seedlings? they tend to outward facing too. I have a primrose yellow one just opening now.

I love the double pink ones. so feminine looking.

28 Jan, 2010

 

A lovely insight into your Hellebores, they are fast becoming one of my favourite plants. When we moved into our house there was one in the garden a 'stinking hellebore' I believe. It was the only plant that seemed to thrive.
Last year it had to be moved which I read they don't much like so I was really pleased to find it has thrived even more in its new home! Since then i've added another three varieties and plan on some more this year.

29 Jan, 2010

 

Good for you! They are great plants to have in winter - all of them. :-))

Sbg - not sure, but I think I may have. I'd love an apricot coloured one.....mmmmmmm.....

29 Jan, 2010

 

No flower buds on my apricot one this year, Spritz. They do take a while to settle down - I hope, the leaves look healthy.

29 Jan, 2010

 

Otherwise, try giving it a talking-to Wgger! It worked on my 'difficult' one! LOL.

29 Jan, 2010

 

Very beautiufl, they are all so pretty.

29 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks, Dawn. Do you grow Hellebores?

Nice to see you, by the way. :-)))))

29 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks Spritz, yes I have a couple, nothing special just Helleborus niger and Helliborus foetidus :-)

29 Jan, 2010

 

You'll have to get some more then, while they're in flower at the GCs!

29 Jan, 2010

 

Good idea :-)

29 Jan, 2010

 

Go for it! :-)))

29 Jan, 2010

 

Another lovely blog

I love hellebores - have a few these days and hope the new ones will bloom before too many years!

Thanks to everyone for the tips about how and where to grow them!

30 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks, R'smum - I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it of help. :-)

30 Jan, 2010

 

Another great blog Spritz, I've never grown hellebores and I've no idea why, such lovely leaves too. Yours are so beautiful. I will rectify this omission very soon and I think I will also try some in a pot, how lovely to have some flowers at this time of year:-) It snowed here again last night and everywhere's frozen:-( must poor some boiling water in the bird bath:-)

31 Jan, 2010

 

Thank you, Ba. I think that Hellebores are indispensible - well, to me they are! Such a joy from December right through until March! It's the right time to look as from February, when GCs have them in bloom so you can choose one that you really like. I hope you do!

We haven't had any snow here - there's a lot up on Exmoor though! However, it's very cold out there, and we had a frost.

31 Jan, 2010

 

I may have exagerated the snow slightly as it was not at all deep, just light covering, still freezing though but sunny I could have a pot or two of hellebores just outside the patio window to cheer on days like this:-)

31 Jan, 2010

 

Good idea - go for it - and I hope you find a real beauty. :-))

31 Jan, 2010

 

Or two:-)

31 Jan, 2010

 

Even better! :-))

31 Jan, 2010

 

lovely blog Spritz! I agree with you totally, they flower for sooooooo long and are worth their weight in gold in the spring garden. Thanks for clearing up my confusion re the naming of orientalis! I am on the look out for some at the moment as I have a lot of shade. There is a fabulous snowdrop festival here starting now and every year I go to Cambo House in Fife to see them and they are always selling the latest (very expensive) double varieties, so I may indulge later this month when I go over there! Thanks for sharing!

1 Feb, 2010

 

You're welcome - I hope you find a gorgeous one...or more...LOL.

I shall be keeping my eyes open for a double apricot-coloured one. I saw a rather poor plant with one flower, so I know that they are around - it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. :-)

1 Feb, 2010

 

Its great to read all this info on Hellebores,most helpful.
Thanks Spritz,for asking Alz to comment on growing in pots.Seems as though
they will do ok as long as the compost is good,and placed in correct position.I don't have acid soil,so would you recommend using ericaceous,or not?I don't have any home made compost ready yet,as used it all in on the garden in november,so will need to buy something.
Will watch out for pests too.Going to a garden centre this weekend,so will see what is available...armed with a list of varieties you have mentioned...:o))

1 Feb, 2010

 

'Morning Bloomer! I am sure your Hellebores will do fine as long as the pots are deep enough so they don't dry out and give the plants enough room to spread and thrive. I had a look at my my big potful this morning and see that all the little plants I was given last year have indeed survived and are poking through the snow that is lying on top.....and which I have left...they don't seem to mind! I'm not sure if they will flower this year - but it is good to know they made it through the big freeze!!
The rest of my collection is planted in my allium bed - they seem to make good bed-fellows!! When one finishes flowering and needs trimming back - the other is taking over and acting as shade. And as the whole bed is under a gigantic cherry tree - they are are saved from being scorched or dried out....and it all gets a massive mulch of home made leaf mould each autumn ....so far it has worked for me! I must say I don't think I have an apricot one as such ...so must watch for that!

1 Feb, 2010

 

Good afternoon Alz!Thats great advice.I can now sally forth and hopefully find something I like..thanks...

1 Feb, 2010

 

Bloomer - my soil is neutral and I just used multi-purpose compost in the pots. I don't think they're fussy about soil. I wouldn't worry about ericacious compost - but they may need a feed in a pot after a while, I think.

1 Feb, 2010

 

There's an article in The English Garden Feb edition which I bought today. There are a couple of apricot ones photographed and the suppliers listed are Ashwood Nurseries -www.ashwood-nurseries.co.uk and Harvey's Garden Plants - www.harveysgardenplants.co.uk

1 Feb, 2010

 

Oooh! Thanks - I've got that, but I haven't read it yet, so I'll take a look. Lovely. :-)))

1 Feb, 2010

 

Yes, I've just been on the websites and the doubles are £25 each!! eek! Think I may have to stick with the ones I've already got and hope for some accidental hybridisations!!

1 Feb, 2010

 

Well, my new one (Walberton's Rosemary') certainly didn't cost anything near that - that's definitely an 'EEEK' price! :-((

By the way, Bloomer - the article suggests using J.I. no. 2 if you want to grow them in a pot for a long time.

1 Feb, 2010

 

What an interesting up-date....I have to admit that I just used garden soil with some added home made compost - which I guess equated with our old friend J1 2
I most certainly would NOT use an ericaceous specific compost - they are very tolerant. My neighbour - who doesn't have a tree in his garden -( unlike mine...LOL) has very sandy conditions and he has a massive collection that he has had for some years ....and his seedlings that he gave me do fine in my really leafy loam. So don't go buying anything special Bloomer - they will cope just fine!

As for 25 quid a plant....you are correct....that is definitely an eeeeek price!!!
They do pollinate each other quite promiscuously - so we will just keep watching!!

2 Feb, 2010

 

Thanks, Alz. I thought as much - but the person who wrote the article is one of the famous breeders, so I thought I'd pass that on for Bloomer.

I shall still watch out for a double apricot one - I wish the open days of the two most famous Nurseries were nearer! I'd be there like a shot - too far, too far. :-(( They'd still want mega-bucks for their plants, anyway, wouldn't they?

Maybe it's a good thing not to be able to go - I'd be tempted, I know!

3 Feb, 2010

 

Hi Spritz.....yes indeed ...the temptation was strong in me yesterday and I trotted round our local GCs but needless to say - they had nothing exciting to offer.
I suspect it is too early up here for anything worthwhile to be on display.....it was all H Niger...by the tray-load and nowt else!!!
Frankly the GCs are fairly barren and all intent on flogging us seeds and bulbs....and Xmas decorations still at throw-away prices...nothing for me apart from a 3 for 2 Kalanchoe offer ...which I did take! Well I had to buy something!

4 Feb, 2010

 

What a shame! I might take a look at our local ones next week and see if they're different. I really, really don't wish to see any Christmas decorations, though - let alone buy any! Are your Kalanchoes different colours?

4 Feb, 2010

 

Yes Spritz...three wee plants - one apricot /one rosy red and one pink.
A pretty little collection that brightens up a little corner!

4 Feb, 2010

 

Very nice - I shall look for the photos, Alz!

4 Feb, 2010

 

Your wish is my command, Spritz!!

5 Feb, 2010

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