Six on Saturday: Coming Along Nicely

With our February garden opening only 5 weeks away, there is a long ‘to-do’ list on display – or two to be exact, as the Golfer has one of his own, jobs I can entrust him to do that don’t require much  (if any) garden knowledge. Most of them are not very big jobs in themselves (although in future years I promise faithfully not to start any new project between November and February…perhaps), but there is a lot of them and some are weather dependent. There certainly seem to be more tasks that need to be done before a February opening than our usual June ones, but in truth they are mostly standard winter maintenance things but with a shorter timescale to do them in; anyhow, the lists are getting shorter and there are fewer new additions, so we must be winning!

Alongside the tasks, there is the constant monitoring of what is likely to be flowering in the middle of February, and I am pleased to say that I can be confident of the hellebores making a fine display as they are already coming along nicely. Joining the special snowdrops (which should also be at their peak then) in their bed, are Hellebore ‘Harvington Double White’ (above) and H ‘White Spotted Lady’ and H ‘Harvington Double Lime’ below. These are the most established of my hellebores, and each make a sizeable clump.

You can see that I have trimmed the leaves from these ones, and indeed most of my hellebores, a practice I never thought I would take on board but now accept how much more easily the flowers can be seen when they are semi-naked. I am a little reluctant to remove the gorgeous marbled leaves from H x ericsmithii ‘Winter Moonbeam’ and H (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) ‘Anna’s Red’ (below) and will do so selectively.

These hellebores have both quickly made really sturdy plants and form clumps that look attractive virtually all year round – and just look at those stems on Anna’s Red! I have been led into temptation this week by a fellow blogger (was it you?), when they showed another hellebore from the Rodney Davey Marbled Group,  ‘Cheryl’s Shine’, which I just HAD to have (OK, and two more of its cousins…); they should be arriving on Monday and will join my continually increasing collection of hellebores.

What a joy they are in the early months of the year, in a huge range of shades from pink to white to red to yellow, double or single, spotted, frilled – I love them all, but today I am sharing just six of them (below, H Harvington Double Pink Speckled’) for Jon’s Six on Saturday meme. Pop over to his blog to see what other sixes are being shared today.

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24 Responses to Six on Saturday: Coming Along Nicely

  1. ‘Anna’s Red’ is really lovely! Well, all Hellebores are lovely, but that one is unique. I usually trim back the old leaves in March just before blooming–my Hellebore season is a lot later than yours. Thanks for sharing these beauties!

    • Cathy says:

      Anna is indeed especially gorgeous, Beth! Here, the hellebore season does vary and they can be much later than this – although in fact it should be at least a month till they are in full flow here, I imagine

  2. Noelle says:

    Hope you post these same hellebores when the flowers are open, as they hold great promise.

    • Cathy says:

      I will do Noelle – although I have added so many new ones in the last year I will find it hard to have favourites, I expect!

  3. Lora Hughes says:

    You’ve an amazing number of buds on your hellebore. Some of the foliage is quite nice, too, so a reluctance to cut it back is understandable. Like Noelle, I hope to see photos of these open!

    • Cathy says:

      I will definitely be posting more hellebore photos, Lora!! Some leaves do get really tatty so there is no heartache in cutting them, and it really does show off the flowers better

  4. Your hellebores are beautiful. I can’t believe after admiring them on blogs last winter I forgot to by some!

  5. Jennifer Tetlow Stone Sculpture says:

    I was interested to see that you trimmed the leaves, I never have with mine (I must look up what it is, flowers are white/green) – does it help the plant and flowers?

    • Cathy says:

      If the leaves are spotted it means they are diseased so they are better off, and tatty ones just look tatty! On the orientalis and niger ones removing the majority shows the flowers off better, as they can easily be hidden. I would say that the argutifolius and foetidus ones are probably better left untrimmed – yours might be one of the latter two

  6. Anna says:

    Oh it’s so heartwarming to see these early beauties unfurling. I’ve not heard of ‘Cheryl’s Shine’ which I must look up 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      It is indeed, Anna, especially those that have formed a big clump. I think Cheryl’s Shine must a be a new variety, along with Dorothy’s Dawn and Molly’s White, which I also bought

  7. Brian Skeys says:

    I hope the weather stays kind for you, both for the preparation and on the day.

  8. Chloris says:

    Everything is coming along beautifully. Your hellebores will be perfect for your open day.

  9. Cathy says:

    I‘m with you on the joy of hellebores Cathy! Mine are also finally showing colour too. They should be at their peak for your opening. Hope the weather plays along for you until then so you can get everything done. 😃

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy, and yes, most things look as if they will be flowering although not as much in the Coop as I would have hoped

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Hellebores do not do well for us, but there are several here. I do not bother grooming them, but before bloom, I drop a small pile of compost on top of each one, burying the old foliage. By that time, there are only a few leaves that are not laying flat and decomposing. Some sort of bloom nicely. They look shabby after the bloom finishes though, and their foliage is never much to brag about.

    • Cathy says:

      Here they can get leaf spot, so burying them would not be a good idea

      • tonytomeo says:

        I did not consider sanitation. Leaf spot is part of why I bury them. I don’t want to see that stuff. But, that may be ‘why’ I see that stuff the following year. It is not severe during the years, but gets grungy at the end of their cycle.

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