Friday, February 27, 2009

Helleborus

Yesterday was a warm and balmy day and as I was leaving campus, I noticed that the landscape guys were all out trimming back the monkey grass, planting new azaleas and spreading mulch. I could smell the rich odor of freshly dug earth and a hint of rain on the wind. There is a noticeable change in the air. The brown landscape is showing subtle hints of color. Spring is on the way!




Even though Spring hasn't officially arrived yet, there are still things to see in the garden. Helleborus (hellebores) are probably one of the most popular winter blooming plants. It took a while for me to discover these plants and I'm just now planting more in the garden. They start blooming in February and bloom for several months. I looked them up in the Southern Living Garden Book and I see that there are several types of hellebores and I'm sorry to report that I have no idea which kind I have. I'm guessing H. orientalis?

I just ordered a selection of 12 from Sunshine Farms and Gardens last fall and these are a hybrid mix of several species within the genus. So I'm even more confused. Anyway, I think I'll just enjoy the flowers for now.

Frances at Fairegarden has showcased many great photos of her hellebores and recently talked about pruning them. Hellebores are easy to grow and they like good soil ammended with organic material. Southern Living says that they like a neutral PH and to apply lime if necessary. They are slow to reestablish after transplanting so leave them in the same spot if you can. They make good cut flowers.

16 comments:

  1. Hey, Phillip--Sorry I've been away for so long. Hellebores are one of my favorites--we're behind you because mine are just starting to open. I'm meeting Jeff (Transitional Gardener) at a hellebore festival in VA tomorrow--I'll be posting about what we find!

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  2. That first shot is a stunnner. It reminds me of raspberry sherbet.

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  3. Hi Phillip,

    Really fine photo Philiip;-) Quite lovely...My hellebores are coming along nicely. I did add a new one to the mix...Golden Lotus, a sweet double yellow that would look fantastic with your mixture...I am this excited to have it! have a good weekend. When do you think you will head up here or did I miss you?

    Gail

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  4. Phillip, isn't the smell of fresh dug dirt just the right ticket to get our mojo working?!

    Great shots on this post as usual.
    Thanks for sharing them

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

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  5. Thanks Les and Jon!

    Gail, my Nashville trip got sidetracked but I still want to visit soon. I'll let you know when I do.

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  6. Beautiful photos!

    I am so ready for spring. The planting of azaleas -- isn't that just perfectly southern?

    Cameron

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  7. Yes, I must get some. Too bad I'm missing this season's blooms, but there's always next year!!

    BTW, what type of library-ism do you work in? There was a specialty library where I used to work; one of my friends is a librarian, too, so I hear a lot about that universe.

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  8. That's a gorgeous one! 12 new ones at once, how lucky! I never realized all the choices either until I started seeing them on so many blogs. I just have a few varieties. Have you tried a Corsican hellebore yet? They do well in a more sunny area. I think you're right that it's H. orientalis

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  9. It looks like your morning was much like ours in Georgia. The perfect day to enjoy the mist and take a stroll. I got distracted, as well, and spent much more time taking photos than doing any pruning!

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  10. I just love hellebores, but right now I only have white. After seeing your photos, I need to consider getting other colors. Yes, spring is here with all its attending chores. I will be cutting back my monkey grass this weekend.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  11. Hi Phillip, wowee, that is a gorgeous hellebore! I have never seen one with that coloration, but only have the H. orientalis and one new H. niger this year. Twelve new ones is like winning the hellebore lottery! Thanks so much for the link love, my friend. :-)
    Frances

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  12. Hi Phillip, that bottom photo sure looks like my 'Blue Lady.' I think it's orientalis. Those photos are great, and I know you're enjoying the Hellebores.~~Dee

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  13. Hi there -- found you via a comment on Rurality. I've been prowling around for local gardening blogs as a means of educating myself. I know those flowers as Lenten Roses. Gardenrant.com has some amusing posts about scientific vs common names. Now I know both -- thank you!

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  14. We need a shot of warmth to get our blooms going. Only one hellebore is blooming now. The crocus is all in a tight wad. Come on spring time...

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  15. I have several Hellebores. Not only are the flowers beautiful, but I love the summer foliage!

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