Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Hellebores in pictures

Those of you that have been following this blog you’ll already know how I lusted after Hellebores and finally found some at a specialist nursery in April (seems they are not on the average South African Gardeners’ wish list – so not for sale at every corner nursery). I brought home three fair sized plants, planted them in a bed with my Azaleas which live and thrive under the trees, and after lovingly planting, feeding and composting them I saw no action from them. Not even a new leaf or growth … nothing.

At the beginning of July I found a few very small Hellebore plants at Starke Ayres nursery and bought 5 of them – and planted them in the same bed as we still have a few bare patches under the trees. Mid July I was delighted to see that two of my now collection of 9 helleborus plants had buds. Joy of joys, the two plants are now flowering and have lots and lots of additional buds. I’m amazed at how long each flower lasts and, for a delicate looking flower, its actually very strong (these are not little flowers that fall off or bruise when you touch them or wiggle them around to photograph them – they bounce right back, strong little things).

They are already a good few days old and still look lovely. One of the plants has three flowers open now, all look different. (see the last two photos). One is white(ish) or cream on the back and the other is pink on the back and the third is somewhere in between. All on the same plant.

No more words … here is my photo essay on the Hellebores

[one_half]The first Hellebore purchase in AprilHelleborus Orientalis[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The small ones I found last monthThe small ones I found last month[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The first buds …The first Hellebore Buds[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Close up of the first budClose up of the first bud[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Another bud full of promiseAnother bud full of promise[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Two days later she is openingTwo days later she is opening[/one_half_last]

[one_half]And the next day …And the next day ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A closer look insideA closer view inside[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Here she is fully open and lovelyNow she is fully open and lovely[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Still lovely today! What Joy!Still lovely today! What Joy![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Same plant …[/one_half]

[one_half_last]… different colours?[/one_half_last]

I can’t get over how long each bloom lasts. What a Joy these little flowers are! I look forward to years of pleasure from these plants. I suspect the newer five I bought will only flower next year or the next … there really is always something to look forward to in the garden isn’t there?

Thanks for joining in my delight of the Hellebores.

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

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

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Finally Found. Hellebores

Since I joined the website, Blotanical, in February I’ve been visiting many gardening blogs from all over the world and am learning about many different plants. One that has been coming up regularly is Helleborus or Hellebores. They appear to be very popular winter / early spring flowering plants suited to shade gardens so of course that piqued my interest. Anything that does well in a shade garden AND is as pretty as these plants and flowers are, was bound to find its way onto my “list”. Although I see Hellebores in the South African gardening books and mentioned on a few South African websites, I have not yet seen any at a local nursery. I keep expecting to find them in those little 6 pack seedling trays, but so far no joy.

This week Barbie and I took a little road trip and went to visit some specialist nurseries. At last … there they were waiting for me – Hellebores! I think the lady at the nursery thought I was a bit nuts because I got so excited when I spotted them. I purchased three nice sized plants (now I wish I’d taken more, but she only had a few) and I’m hoping they do well in my garden.

[one_half]My three new Helleborus plantsHelleborus Orientalis[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The label says “Helleborus Orientalis”Helleborus Orientalis[/one_half_last]

I’ve have been reading up about Hellebores and found out that Azaleas make good companion plants for Hellebores so that solves two problems – what additional plants to put in the Azalea bed and where to plant the new Hellebores! My Azalea bed can do with some attractive additions, is well shaded and now I can’t wait to get them in the ground. Only problem is … I’m wishing I had bought more! Unfortunately the lady at the nursery couldn’t tell me what colour flower they are as she got them from someone in Johannesburg. But I don’t really care – It will be fun to see what they are when they eventually flower! I’ve seen so many varieties and colours on the blogs I visit – and they are all beautiful so I’m really happy to have found these.

What’s the bet that now I finally have some, Hellebores will probably start appearing in all the local nurseries next week …

According to the RHS, Hellebores (sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose) are perennial garden plants with elegant flowers, perfect for brightening up shady areas during late winter and early spring. Some species are grown for their striking evergreen architectural foliage.

Any tips on “Raising Hellebores” will be greatly appreciated! Mine are labelled: Helleborus Orientalis.

Happy Gardening