Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here Come the Hellebores!

Susan Wheeler,  a garden designer in the White Rock/South Surrey area, is writing a guest blog today! The photos of her own gardens show many of the plants that are available here at West Coast Gardens.  She has a garden design business: www.greendesign-gardenstolivein.com, as well as her own blog at www.greengardeningtips.netWe thank Susan for sharing her expertise with us!



Here Come the Hellebores! - The garden's "winter jewels".
By Susan Wheeler



Well, what more could any gardener wish for than amazing flowers and colour in January, February and March?

Just when we absolutely need a break from all the winter rain, etc., here come the Hellebores! These are truly the most lovely plants, and last week, when West Coast Gardens opened for the season, on March 5th, I was quick to get over there to check out their newest ones. Sure enough, they have some beauties!
In the photos below, you will see which new ones I picked up. They are Helleborus x hybridus ‘ SP Frilly Kitty’. And, because I am always on the lookout for new and interesting plants, I also bought some of their new Skimmia japonica ‘Chameleon’  which will add colour and texture to any winter garden.



In my own gardens, below, you can see  a clump of pink Hellebores which can add great colour at this time of year. These bright pink ones are Helleborus  X  ‘Rosemary’ which I bought last year from West Coast Gardens.  I had put them into my large planters at my front door in November, as part of my Christmas decor and they continued to bloom well into May! The close-up shows ‘Rosemary’ at my front door. As you can see, I later added a few spring flowers to the planters in May. Then, when the Hellebores had begun to lose their colour,  I planted them into my gardens. ( They slowly turn to a very pretty green ). ‘Rosemary’ is the longest blooming Hellebore and is certainly one of my all-time favourites. This past November, I added a white Hellebore, seen in the planter, below.



Here are a few more Hellebores that are blooming in my gardens, now. Some are so frilly, that they look like roses, especially the ‘doubles’. ( Some also have an ‘Elizabethan Collar’, as seen in the close-up. ) If you are a patient gardener, you will have a most beautiful clump, like these yellow ones, in a few years. The photos, below, show how the whole plant will put on a pretty show amongst your evergreens.






There are many different types of Hellebores and because they bloom in the winter, and then last so long, I feel that no garden should be without a few, at least!

 Cheers! and happy gardening,
Susan Wheeler

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Please note:  Photos or articles written by Susan Wheeler of 'Green Design Gardens' are copyrighted material and can not be reproduced without written permission from Susan.