Wednesday, April 2, 2008
This is hellebore season - that time when the witchhazels are about done and before the daffodils really get started. We started out with just a few and have a bed of various colors as you come in the driveway. A few years ago we put in 100 seedlings on a hillside in the back. They have now grown to clump size and right now, with the sunlight just right, they are just beautiful. The colors range from pure white to the darkest purple/black with pinks, greens and everything in between. Lots have speckles. They are pretty easy to grow in average garden soil and part shade. They are nice under deciduous trees where they get lots of shade in the summer, but dappled sunlight in the spring. The old leaves persist over the winter on most (but not all) types and now are laying down as the new leaves and flowers emerge. The actual flowers are not what you would think. The flower is the part in the center (which you cant really see in this picture) with very tiny petals. The showy colored parts are actually a calyx and it persists sometimes into the summer which makes them seem like very long blooming plants - which they're not since the actual blooms don't last more than a week, but the appearance is what's important and we certainly enjoy them.