Sunday, April 17, 2011

garden news April 17, 2011- hellebores


I want to talk to you about Hellebores.

They really have become one of the mainstays of my April garden.
I don’t really remember even knowing what a hellebore was until about 10-12 years ago. I had none in my garden. (We moved here in 1982.) We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, a wonderful place, one spring in about 2000. There were these great big plants blooming like crazy in April. I had to get some. The first two I got did so-so. I got a few more and then started adding several each spring. I seems like it takes them a few years to get going, even when you get bigger plants from specialty nurseries. But this spring they have never been better.

Here are things to know.

They come in a variety of colors. Black and gold are the school colors for the University of Iowa. I sometimes envisioned a bed with just these two varieties.

There are singles and doubles.

There are speckles that are doubles.

They really are early, not minding the cold. These two pictures were taken on March 20, almost a month ago.

The only real problem, if it is a problem, is that the flowers mostly hang down. Sometimes it is hard to see the flower faces.
And they get better and better with time.
They grow in the shade, but they bloom in the spring, when shade doesn’t really mean what it means in July.

Enjoy these pictures and consider adding hellebores to your garden.


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