Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hellebores Beginning to Show Their Colors

Wow! So we went from the 20's last week to a high today of 72°, with temps dropping tomorrow to the 30's by Friday. So glad I could be in the garden this afternoon! Look what I found?! Helleborus 'Phoenix' was opened!

Helleborus 'Phoenix'

I cut back the old, tattered foliage on all the hellebores so I could see the new buds and flowers more closely. Some are already opening, others are looking very ready--

Helleborus x ballardiae 'Pink Frost'

Helleborus nigercors 'Green Corsican'


Still others, just starting to form buds.

Hellebore 'Gold Finch' (will have pinkish spots when fully opened!)

The H. niger has been blooming since November and buds and flowers from all stages continue to hang on...a very interesting hellebore.

Hellebore 'Niger' (flowers from November, December and January are still hanging on)

Even now, this same hellebore variety continues to form new buds

Opening bud of H. niger

Now that I've cut off the old foliage the buds will be more exposed to the cold weather that is headed here again in the next few days...but hellebores are tough plants and will withstand just about whatever comes there way. (Except overly soggy, wet conditions--with lack of drainage. In those cases, they might begin to rot and not do well). Hellebores are native to Europe...so no, they are NOT native to North America. However, they are wonderful shade tolerant plants and who could complain about buds and blooms in winter and early spring? They are definitely not invasive thugs so they are going to stay in my garden!

Helleborus 'Ashwood Doubles'

Helleborus 'Red Lady'

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'

H. 'Ivory Prince'

I have quite a few of the H. hybridus. They are in various stages of development, with some being prolific bloomers and others just tiny seedlings. H. hybridus (also called H. orientalis) self-seeds pretty well and I've been able to transplant the seedlings to various areas of the gardens over the past couple of years.

Helleborus orientalis or H. hybridus

And for the finale, Galanthus elwesii, AKA 'Giant Snowdrop'. Isn't it cute?

Galanthus elwesii

For being 'giant', it is still really a small plant. This year, it's 3rd year in the garden, it has 3 flowers. In a few years, it should produce many more blooms. Galanthus are not native to North America, either. They are native to Europe. But they are in no danger of invading my garden so they get to stay, too.

What gifts have you discovered today? Until next time,

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.

24 comments:

  1. Thank goodness for hellebores! What would our winter gardens look like without them? You are so much better than I am...my poor hellebores still sport their old scraggly foliage. Still, I love them. Your photos are stunning. And yes, the weather is crazy! 70s, thunderstorms, tornado warnings...and tomorrow night it will be in the 30s again. Yikes. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

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    1. Thank you, Julie! Well, I don't know that I'm really so much better than you...it was just a lovely day and I got out the clippers and went to town. If it had been 'real winter', that foliage would have stayed and I might not have looked so closely at the flowers and buds today:) This weather is, indeed, very strange!!

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  2. Jan,
    We have more than half the hellebores you mentioned. Let me tell you our Gold Finch last year rocked with huge blooms the first time it bloomed to. So looking forward to seeing it. Perhaps we could trade seedlings or seeds, I just love your Helleborus 'Phoenix'.

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    1. Hey Randy, I know you have a wonderful collection of hellebores! I need to visit your blog so I can see more of them! I would be happy to share seedlings/seeds with you. I just would have to figure out how to manage that. So far the only hellebore that disperses seedlings is the H. hybridus/orientalis; those have been in the ground for years. The others are newer and some are only 1, 2 or maybe 3 yrs old but not very big. I have not seen any seedlings on them. If theres a way to get seeds from the flowers I'd be happy to try sending you some, but you'll have to explain to me how to do that. See you on FB:)

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  3. Lovely to see them bloom in January! But this weather is crazy! I'm not sure what season this is.

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    1. Hi again Linda...it IS so uplifting to see some blooms this time of year. Hellebores really are terrific plants! I'm baffled by the weather, too...I went outside this morning and even though it's dropped down to 45 degrees, the sun is shining and it feels like spring. I think tonight and tomorrow we're going to know what season it is though!

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  4. Lovely photos. I have lots of hellebores in bloom, but even the old foliage still looks fairly good and adds a lot of green to the landscape this time of year.

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    1. Hi Nancy...wow, I'm honored that you visited my blog! I am looking forward to hearing/seeing you speak at the Chinn Center for your 'Seeing Trees' presentation! I adore your sweet arrangements on your windowsill...such creative ways to display everything, living and non-living, that most people just wouldn't think of doing. I could have left the foliage, and often I do...but I was eager to see the buds/blooms since they were hidden so far beneath those huge older leaves. Most of those leaves were brown and torn up from wear and tear by various critters and I just decided to pitch them. I should have put some of them in an arrangement on my windowsill...it just never crossed my mind ;)

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  5. Oh how exciting! Srping is on the way! It is FREEEEZZZZIIINNNGGGG here today Jan. I am thinking 6 more weeks of Winter! Love your shots.

    Many blessings....Brooke
    creativecountrymom@gmail.com


    Here is my new site for my Vintage Inspired Artwork...http://brookekroeger.blogspot.com/

    And my original site that focuses on my own photography and projects, Creative Country Mom... My home and gardening site, where I share tutorials, crafts, decor and lots of gardening ideas.
    http://creativecountrymom.blogspot.com/

    This week I am starting a new link up party called "Sunday Open House". I hope you will link up this lovely post to share with my readers.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brooke, Sorry I'm late getting back to you! Thanks for stopping by. I'll bet is HAS been freezing in Indiana! It's been cold here too, but I remember living in IN and it's a bit colder than VA!! I'll check out your Sunday Open House and see if in the future I can link with you from time to time. I may be too late for the last one...

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  6. Lovely Hellebores, I especially like Phoenix. I don't have any, though I do have lots of Galanthus, I love all the small bulbs.

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    1. Hi Jason, Phoenix is an interesting hellebore. I think this might be the best it has looked since I planted it a couple of years ago. Each year they get more and more 'settled' in the garden and look better and better. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. This is my favorite time in the garden blogosphere--watching the slow unfolding of Hellebores, from the south to the north. Sigh...

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    1. Sigh, Beth...Sorry you don't have much going on in your own garden right now! Glad though, that you can enjoy others' gardens through blogging!

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  8. Jan your flowers are so lovely. It gives me hope that I will see my garden maybe in March when the snow melts again.

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    1. Hi Donna, I hope your snow will melt soon so you can see your garden again soon! We have not had any serious snow and it's been easy to see the garden almost daily. At the same time, I kind of wish we would just get a good covering of snow because our temps have been lower than usual. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Your post makes me realize just how much I need to invest in some of the newer Hellebore varieties. I like mine, but most are seedlings. I need fancy ones!

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    1. Hi Les, I like all the hellebores, so I'm sure those you have are lovely. But there are a lot of new varieties out there so you should go for it, if you have the room to plant them! I have some that produce seedlings but most of my newer ones are maybe 2 years old and have not produced seedlings. Maybe in time they will...I'd be happy to send you some seeds if I knew how to go about getting them from the newer ones. Let me know, because Randy also would like some. I could give it a shot, anyway.

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  10. You do have a lot of Hellebores. wow!! Your Pink Frost looks a lot better than mine, more lush. I can't wait for my Hellebore garden to fill in. Love that the deer, bunnies, and voles leave them alone.

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    1. Well I don't know if you remember, but last year, something was chewing them up! I determined that it was most likely the squirrels. They don't eat them, but they are destructive and chew up the buds. So this year, I sprayed them really good with Bobbex right after I trimmed off the foliage. Bobbex dries clear and leaves no residue so they will still look good in photos. They generally are critter resistant...to all but those pesky squirrels that live in my backyard! Thanks for visiting, Janet :)

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  11. Jan, It's great to see those hellebores already doing their thing. I added hellebores to my Maine garden this past year; it will be interesting to see when they bloom there. -Jean

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    1. So glad you've added them to your garden in Maine, Jean. I'll be they are going to do well. Especially the H. Niger, which blooms earlier than most of the others. I am SOOO sorry that I still cannot leave a comment on your blog. There is some huge problem with my account not being able to get through on a WP blog. When I have time I am still attempting to remedy the situating but it is not an easy process. It seems completely wrong that WP has that much control over me. One day I will get through. Just don't give up on me in the meantime. Thank you for another visit! Jan

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  12. I hope to see my hellebores soon, but I don't have nearly as many as you do. After all, I only have a tiny spot of shade to put them in. But first, we have to get rid of all this snow!

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    1. Sorry you have so much snow, Robin...but that's typical for Ohio! I actually have hellebores in both sun and shade areas. They seem to do well everywhere...unless there is no drainage and it's soggy. You should just try planting them wherever you have space...because they bloom before it gets hot. Granted, I don't have them in direct sun with no shade at all, but they can get a lot of sun as long as there is a small amt of shade at some point during the day. Hope you see yours soon!

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

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