More people don’t plant hellebores?
I can’t imagine a spring without hellebores. They cheer me by blooming early and laughing at rain and snow. Gray skies don’t make them gloomy, and sunshine back lights them with an inner glow. Why aren’t people racing to buy a plant which blooms from February through the beginning of April and sometimes beyond?
Is it because you must stand on your head to take a photo or two?
That’s still not a good excuse.
Now, there are even hellebores for you more finicky photographers and gardeners too. They stand up tall with blooms held high as if to say, “Bring it.”
So, why don’t you?
The last two photos are from the Brandywine seed strain which can be bought locally at TLC Nursery. By the way, I never get a single, blessed, free thing from TLC, but they are about the only hellebore show in town.
Lowe’s too has hellebores, and though their supply is limited, I bought one in a light pink because it had dark pink stems, an interesting feature. I’m writing this at night, and the tag is out in the dark. I love you all, but I am not going out there to find it so I don’t remember the cultivar right now.
Buy hellebores now while they’re in bloom. Most hellebores come from a few different seed strains, and this makes them highly variant with some strains showing doubles, picotee edges and highly variable colors. Unless they are tissue cultured like ‘Blue Lady’ and the other ladies of the same group, you need to see them to get the bloom you want. Plus, I grow both the ‘Blue Lady’ and the ‘Red Lady,’ and they are very similar with nearly the only difference being that one blooms quicker than the other. That may simply be because of placement in the garden and micro-climates though.
Also, although I love ebony purple and burgundy red flowers, they don’t show up well against the dark earth of spring. I’ve come to especially enjoy yellow blooms against the green leaves.
As an aside, hellebores are often shown in stained glass windows at churches, especially those which are Catholic. Depending upon the scene depicted in the window, they can be either Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose or H. orientalis, the Lenten rose.
Most of the ones I grow are hybrids. Some are tissue cultured. Some are not. All like soil which is dry in winter. If happy, they will spread their seed around like . . . Let’s put it this way. They are quite promiscuous when happy, and such behavior doesn’t even involve spring break or alcohol.
You “feel me?”
Run to the store and buy a hellebore for your garden. No, buy three. You’ll thank me later.