26 March 2010
Speak for yourself. I like them.
Last year when the new south-end beds were planted up we included a number of hellebore orientalis hybrids for their late winter flowers and tolerance of summer drought. These were raised from small seedlings collected a good few years ago and grown on in pots till large enough to plant out. They flower early each year with flowers in various shades of green, yellow, red and plum with waxy long lasting sepals (the sepals are doing the same job as petals - similar to clematis flowers). Each flower is delicately spotted and striped on its face but the flowers hang their heads and you need to turn up the bloom to see this - be warned though, if I catch you mid-bed doing this I will shout at you for you will be stood on emerging new shoots!
Hellebore orientalis hybrids make good clumps of dark green cut leaves and are happy in shade, growing in soil with added leaf-mould and compost they are long lived and summer-drought tolerant. They are originally woodland plants and make the most of the bare branches above to grow and flower before the trees leaf and the light levels drop. The flowering stems appear early in the year and in hard frosts keel over only to right themselves when the weather improves. Our plants will take a few years to bulk up but even now are giving a good showing.
spotty, whitey, greeny,