Monday, February 6, 2012

February's Hellebores

Oh spring, oh spring, could it be true? Are you here yet? This weekend brought two 60 degree days, and it sure felt like spring. This weekend also brought the first crocus and snowdrop sightings of the year, and the first arrangement of 2013 made with with flowers from the cutting garden!

Dusty Miller, Green Amaranth, Green Berzillia, Pussy Willow from the Vashon Island Adventure of a few weeks back, and the infamous HELLEBORE.

If you can find a place to plant a few hellebores in your garden, I would strongly recommend that you do!!!! They are without a doubt one of my favorite plants- gorgeous flowers in FEBRUARY, when almost nothing else is in bloom. Depending on the variety, they come in an assortment of different shades of rose, plum, white, cream and chartreuse. The variety I have growing right now is Helleborus niger 'Joseph Lemper-" the flowers are pure white, and as they go to seed the blooms turn a light, lime green color, with the backs of the petals turning dusty rose. They are truly gorgeous...

Most often they are billed as shade plants- they will bloom and thrive in the shade, however I have also found them to be extremely durable and unfussy in the sun- in one of my gardening clients homes, they are part of a completely drought tolerant parking strip that receives NO irrigation- and they bloom and grow like nobody's business. You can cut back the foliage in late fall, or leave it through winter and cut it back in early spring when they start to bloom (I am a fan of the latter method as their evergreen foliage is a nice addition to a winter garden). Plant a few- trust me, you will LOVE them.

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