Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hellebore Parade

While I was at Vassey Nursery buying my Blue Atlas Cedar (read about that purchase here), I couldn't resist ducking into the perennial area (after all, it was covered against the rain) to check out their Hellebores. They had some really lovely and different ones, and two proved hard to resist. I would have bought more, but I was already spending a pretty penny on that cedar. It's so easy for me to forget how very many Hellebores I already have.

Here are the two I bought on Saturday.

The buds on this one start out really dark.
The color lightens as it opens, but it's still such a pretty dark red from the back

Inside is pretty too, with that dark red collar around the stamens

This second one has very frilly petals and a darker picotee edge

The frilly petals are pretty even from the back

After I had finished planting my cedar, I decided to make the rounds of my gardens and photograph the many Hellebores that I already have growing here. I don't know the names, I'm afraid. Some of the tags are well buried near where they're planted, and others have been shoved in a drawer somewhere.

Like a ballerina's tutu

I'm partial to freckles and frills

More freckles, sorry the photo is so blurry.

I wish there were more pretty Hellebores that face upward. Some do, but the really frilly, colorful ones all seem to still be the type that face down.

Sometimes the reverse side is quite pretty

But inside is really stunning!

I still haven't cut back the old foliage to show off the flowers better.

More frilly tutus

I like the very dark, almost black ones too.

I've heard they can self-sow quite a bit, but I don't think I've ever seen a seedling in my garden. Of course, I do have a tendency to be a very conscientious weeder, so it's possible I pulled seedlings out thinking they were weeds.

Do you grow Hellebores? Which do you like best? Have you ever seen seedlings? Don't you agree that at this time of year they are hard to resist?