Hellebores First to Bloom


Hellebore 'Peppermint Ice' offers just a hint of pink in its petals.
I love it when the mornings are warm enough to meander through the garden, coffee in hand, looking to see if anything broke through during the night. My coffee chills before I’m ready to come inside, so I set it down and find a sturdy stick to use as a gentle probe, pushing aside leaves and litter to find little surprises. My husband says he sees my lips moving, and I imagine he’s right. A mumbling stream of consciousness sounds like this: “What? Oh. Primrose? Hmm.. Which lily is this? I don’t remember putting this there. Yay! The green peony has six stems!”
Hellebore 'Spanish Flare' blooms with a flair.

After planting my first Hellebores--one with flowers of a magenta color and one of a very deep purple shade, I learned that I much prefer lighter colored flowers because they stand out so much better. After all, they're one of the first blossoms in the garden and it isn't often clement at that time. 

Another feature I've come to love about some varieties of Helleborus is outward facing flowers. While many seem naturally nodding, it's tough for a regular-sized person to see them unless they slither around on their bellies. 

Not that I haven't done this--camera in tow--in order to take photos of these pretty springtime harbingers. Looking to the future, which is coming increasingly closer, I hesitate to assume my body will allow such a posture for much longer. So, with all of the varieties whose flowers show their faces, why waste space with the sulking types?

I added one to my collection last year that looks like it will be an upfacing type. It's from the Winter Jewels series and it's called 'Cotton Candy'. The name is appropriate, as its double petals give it that extra-fluffy look. It seems that the double varieties could have more difficulty keeping their heads up, but
Hellebore 'Cotton Candy' holds its head up quite nicely.

I planted Winter Jewels 'Rose Quartz' in 2014, and it's really putting on a show this year. Even though it hasn't opened its flowers yet, I can see the picotee edges, one of the reasons I chose it.

My latest Hellebore acquisition is one called 'Spanish Flare'. It's part of the Honeymoon Series by Walters Gardens. I planted three that I received from Walters Gardens as a trial. I planted them in different spots in the garden to compare conditions. The one in bloom isn't getting any more or any less sun or moisture than the other two, but it's the only one with a flower. Its leaves suffered a bit of damage to their edges from when it got really warm and returned to really cold. No big thing. The plant will produce more leaves during the summer.

Even before opening 'Rose Quartz' shows off its rose-colored edges.




Comments

  1. Hellebores are some of my favorite first flowers. I don't have any of the upturned bloomers...yet. I giggled when you said your husband says you speak to yourself outside. I always say I am talking to the plants. :)

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