Saturday, 8 March 2008

You're my favourites

I foresee a series of blogs where I regale you with details of my favourite garden plant and change my allegiance with the seasons. At present, much as I love the snowdrops and crocus that I was desperate to see flowering, my favourites now are the hellebores. These hardy perennials are putting on a stunning display despite the changeable weather, today we’ve had sunshine, hail and sleet. Most of my hellebores are grown towards the back of the garden in a woodland area where they are shaded in the summer. They seem very happy and though I can’t see them from the kitchen window I’m not keen to have them in the mixed herbaceous border.

There has been some self seeding going on and apparently some cross breeding as this year for the first time two of the youngsters have flowered each producing a few blooms in differing shades of their pink or purple parents. Self seeded plants generally take two or three years to reach flowering stage so I’m delighted with this small success.
I once visited a garden open under Scotland’s Garden Scheme that had a wonderful display of hellebores. Because the flowers tend to hang down you have to tilt them gently upwards to see the delicate colouring inside. To avoid hundreds of people manhandling the plants, the garden the owner had provided small mirrors on canes, angled so that the mirror could be positioned under the plant to inspect the flowers.
The Garden Scheme is a great way to find out what does well in your area and as there’s often a plant stall, a good way to buy locally grown plants. Sometimes there’s tea and home made cakes too with a percentage of the admission fee and sales profits goes to the charity of the owners choice. I’d like to think I might reach the stage of having my own garden open one day but certainly not until I’ve been retired a while and maybe not ever then unless I work really hard.

1 comment:

  1. Your Hellebores look lovely and i also can't wait for the snow to clear and flowers to start blooming. Check out Heronswood Nursery, they have an incredible selection of Hellebores.