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Happy Days the Hellebores are waking up

Is this a sign of things to come? Forgive me my excitement but this is only my tenth month of being a “gardener” and I am very excited about Spring this year. Mid July here in Cape Town means we are just past the mid-winter mark and with the glorious weather we’ve had for the last ten days the early spring bloomers seem to think its time to start waking up …

You might remember my thrill at finding Hellebores at a nursery in Elgin at the beginning of April. No? Ok, Hellebores are not readily available as standard stock at the average nursery here in South Africa but I managed to buy three Hellebore plants at a specialist nursery after having admired them on many overseas blogs. I duly brought them home, planted them and believed they might take a year or two before they flower (if I even managed to keep them alive that long). So imagine my excitement when I discovered actual buds on two of the plants this weekend! I’m absolutely thrilled – I actually can’t explain how delighted I am. I’m like a child at Christmas because … well it feels like maybe, just maybe, I might actually be on the way to becoming a real gardener! I chose, bought, planted and nursed a plant to flower, all by myself! It feels really great!

So here they are and some other things that are making me happy today!

[one_half]My masterpiece – Hellebore budsHellebores[/one_half]

[one_half_last]… because I’m proud, another shotHellebores[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Nestled amongst the Azaleas & LiliumsHellebores[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Exotic Tulip bulbs are coming up!Tulips[/one_half_last]

To all my gardening friends in the Northern Hemisphere that encouraged me to get the Hellebores and especially to Carolyn of Carolyn’s Shade Garden in North Carolina for all her advice, Thank You!!

Happy Gardening

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

15 replies on “Happy Days the Hellebores are waking up”

Oh Christine, I’m so excited for you! We’ve all been there…our first year of gardening and now we can “relive” it through you! I might not get as excited about everything as I did when I started but I still get that giddy feeling at least a few times during the season so that’s a good thing!

It’s so cool you have Hellebores! I just got my first ones for this garden last year. I love them too and feel that here in the northern hemisphere they “get the party started” as far as Spring and gardening goes.

Looking forward to seeing more of your garden as Spring and Summer evolve.

Good for you, Christine! It’s true, they tend not to flower the first or even second year, but when you buy them as plants, they are often that old (at least here, anyway, where I live). Enjoy! Ours bloom often for as long as 3-4 months. They are one of my favorites too!!!

Love it!!! Congratulations Christine…you are absolutely a real gardener! Can’t wait to see the photo when the bloom opens 😉

Amazing!! This is what makes gardening so FUN!! To watch things flourish from your own hands. Wow!! Congrats, my friend! You are in the company of great gardeners – so you are up there with the best!!!

Christine, congratulations for your hellebores. I love them too. Your definitely looks like an orientalis hybr. The best way to have them from seed is using fresh seed. or letting them self seed around. I set a pot with soil under fading flowers sometimes, so I find new plants in pots ready to use. 😉

Congratulations! Of course you are a real gardener! My hellebores took a few years to become established, but now they are spreading and becoming the ground cover I hoped for. I look for ward to seeing yours in full bloom.

Hi Debs – thats what I want too – a sort of ground cover of them. I must’ve been really lucky with the ones I bought that they are flowering.

Hi Michelle – We really are very fortunate here in Cape Town with our climate. Yes its cold at night but the days are pleasant enough and nothing like your winters. I too enjoy watching your gardens – its all so different.

Well done. The next delight is waiting for the buds to open so you can see what colours you’ve got.

If they are normal orientalis hybrids (the colourful ones) their parentage is from a Mediterranean climate so they should do well in Cape Town. With two in flower you should get cross pollination and seeds – even more hellebores if you want them. They don’t like disturbance so seeds are the way to propogate them. I regularly get self sown plants from my hellebores though they do take three years or more to build up size enough to flower.

Hi John – Thanks! I’m going to give collecting the seed a try and see what I can do! I think they are attractive plants and being evergreen here, I actually like them as bedding plants so I would like to have more of them. I can’t wait for the buds to open! I feel a bit silly being this excited about a plant – but I am 🙂

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