In a Vase on Monday: A Serendipitous Accident

I was checking the garden over on Friday, picking up stray twigs strewn around courtesy of Storm Ciara the previous weekend, when I ‘found’ another hellebore, H ‘Double Ellen White’, hiding behind a fern in the woodland edge border. Realising that if I had only found it by chance, our visitors would be very unlikely to see it, so moving it somewhere more prominent made sense. Although relatively small with just a single flower stem, the root system was bigger than one might have expected (perhaps explaining why it takes a few years for a small plant to reach flowering size), so it was not quite the simple task I anticipated. However, I also hadn’t anticipated how easily the stem could snap – which this did, despite gentle handling on my part.

Knowing I would be busy on Sunday when I usually prepare Monday’s vase offering, the opportunity of something good coming out of the accident was grasped immediately (because no amount of sticking plasters would stick the plant together again), and the stem was popped into one of my many ink pots and photographed straight away – well no, I did replant the stemless plant first! As is so often the case the stem had collapsed by the following morning so it was deadheaded and the main bloom and two tiny buds floated in a little ramekin, where they still look fresh and happy.

In the garden, the first Tête-à-têtes have been opening and I suspect you may see some of them on IAVOM here next week. In the meantime, what is bringing you pleasure in your garden that you can bear to cut (or – heaven forbid!- accidentally damage) or that Storm Dennis has presented you with? Please feel free to share it with us on IAVOM.


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55 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: A Serendipitous Accident

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I never knew there were ‘double’ hellebores, really beautiful!

  2. Linda Casper says:

    Lovely hellebores, a plant I have tried and failed to grow on many occasions.

    • Cathy says:

      I was talking to a visitor yesterday who said the same thing but she had only grown H niger, which does seem to be a bit fussy or short-lived even. The orientalis hybrids seem to do so much better, certainly in the UK

  3. the running wave says:

    What a very beautiful find Cathy! I love the way the stamens lie in a whorl, almost like a little Catherine wheel! My garden has survived Dennis, with the exception of a large alder tree which fell during the night, blocking the drive and preventing our neighbours from leaving for work. Whoops! All dealt with now by speedy tree surgeons. There is no danger of my vase this week circling to bad weather. It’s pretty static!! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, hellebores are fascinating when you study them closely, Amanda. I think it must have been planted when it was small and it was only because I caught sight of the flower that I knew it was there. Shame about the tree but I presume it could have done damage if it had fallen differently

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  5. Annette says:

    When I spotted your ‘serendipitous accident’ I thought we must really be soul sisters as my post refers to the same thing! Delighted about my hellebores too and the seedlings have turned out beautifully. I recently found a semi double variety in a garden centre which I couldn’t resist but yet have to find a fully double one. I find it very exciting to see what comes up when they hybridise. The rabbit has eaten all (!) the buds of my only black variety which is most upsetting. Anyway, roll on spring, I’m ready 🙂 Have a great week, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, soul sisters, how lovely Annette! I think we are spoiled for choice in the UK for hellebore varieties, especially if you buy mail order which I generally do

      • Annette says:

        Recently I met a English lady who has moved over here a year ago. She brought her collection of (Ashwood) hellebores and will show it to me soon, very exciting 🙂

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, Ashwood Nurseries have developed many fine varieties and your lady must love them very much to have brought them with her – another reason for me never moving from here!

  6. pbmgarden says:

    Hope your share of scary storms is used up for a long while. How fortuitous you uncovered this beauty, Cathy! Interesting reminder about the extensive root system which sounded familiar as I read along, but had forgotten. The ink pot’s size and shape is ideal for your initial display. The flower looks just as happy floating too. Thanks for hosting.

    • I sense a theme this week…

    • Cathy says:

      It is the flooding that has brought the worst of the damage, Susie, and we are just fortunate that in our area the main town grew next to an extensive flood plain, so mostly flooding fills the fields and not properties. There have been a number of roads blocked from localised flooding and there was one point when our village was close to being temporarily cut off. One route will be blocked for at least a few days now but the others are passable again. I had never really considered the root system of hellebores before so was really surprised as it was still a relatively small plant

  7. Beautiful Hellebore! How was your open garden??

  8. Chloris says:

    I hope your open day went well despite the storm. Aren’t these new hellebore hybrids a joy? Ellen is perfect in the ink pot. I have braved the winds and joined in this week

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks so much Chloris – it wasn’t bad, considering the weather, and worth all the effort probably, even though I was exhausted afterwards. I will write some musings about it in due course. We are definitely spoilt for choice with hellebores in the UK, especially if one buys them mail order. Annas’s Red was the one evryone commented on yesterday

  9. I would not have guessed that was a Hellebore at first sight and love the inkpot. The close up pictures show the beauty of the detail in Miss Ellen. Any leftover cake from your open day? Here is my vase

  10. A beautiful hellebore and I love it floating in the ramekin. You all have so many more varieties than we have available here in the states, so I never tire of seeing your more exotic varieties.
    Finally sharing again, even if it is with faux flowers. Absolutely nothing blooming here yet.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cindy, and I suppose for those of us in the UK who have ample choice of varieties they don’t seem exotic as they ae so easy to grow. The newer varieties are often even better though, in that they often have more upward facing blooms

  11. Oh that is a lovely Hellebore discovery Cathy. Almost as good as finding a tenner in your pocket.
    I’m joining you

  12. Kris Peterson says:

    That is one gorgeous hellebore and I’m glad you were able to make use of it – and that you relocated the plant so its flowers can be viewed in the future. I hope your first open day event went well! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, when I do a count of my hellebores it surprises me how many I have!! The open garden went OK, Kris, considering the weather, and it was always going to be a risk opening in February but it was good to be able to show a different side to the garden

  13. Anna says:

    Oh that was indeed a fortunate find Cathy and now that transplanted hellebore will have its chance to shine in the spotlight. Perfect timing as far as your vase was concerned 😄 I’ve got one or two little hellebores to move so will take note and be extra careful. I was hoping to have a forage in the garden this afternoon now that the wind has dropped but the council have been pruning and chipping trees on the main road so the noise put pay to those plans. Now it has started to rain! Hopefully I will be back next week with a vase.

    • Cathy says:

      Fortunate indeed as I knew I would need to prepare my vase extra early and I didn’t want to pick anything that would reduce the impact of the garden for any visitors! I seem to have a lot of hellebores that just have one stem but presumably have still built up a good root system underground. In fact there is an unnamed double green one that I know I have had for some years but it is right at the edge of a path and could do with being moved – it has onlyt one stem so perhaps might appreciate the move. Chipping and shredding is such a nosy business, one of the reasons We haven’t used our shredder for years (that and the fact it keeps clogging up!)

  14. Noelle Mace says:

    Your hellebore certainly deserved to be shown off…what a beauty. A few bedraggled blooms in a little vase this week from me:

  15. Alison C says:

    What a happy find and it looks lovely here. They are best shown off like this so to see the delicate markings. I do remember taping up a stem with sellotape once but I don’t remember what it was or why! I think it held it together for a short while. Probably not recommended.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I know I have used tape on woodier branches of things before now – and why not, I say! One of my earliest vases cotained floating hellebores and I suppose I have shied away from it since but circumstances were different with this one

  16. Cathy says:

    She is really pretty Cathy! I have Double Ellen Pink in my vase today, and there is a purple one in bud. I will have to look out for this white one. Hope all went well yesterday. What weather!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, altough the weather wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and there were still people who wanted to visit depsite the forecast! I have a few of the Ellen series, most still quite small, but Ellen Picotee has been a star for a few years now

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  18. tonytomeo says:

    Even after writing all those unpleasantries about hellebores, I am getting to like some of those that other post pictures of. Yours is perhaps the whitest I have seen so far, and white is of course my favorite color.

    • Cathy says:

      So many of them have spots and flushes on them Tony, which might spoil their pristine whiteness for you…!

      • tonytomeo says:

        I sort of expect them to be blushed and spotted and such. What I dislike about them is that they are not happy in the local climate, but continue to be planted anyway.

  19. smallsunnygarden says:

    I’m so glad you were able to manage your open garden despite the difficult weather! 🙂
    Definitely a scrumptious hellebore; I love the simplicity of the singles, but this one seems to have the same charm… only with more petals!
    My only hellebore (thus far) has buds, but they are still tightly shut, apparently unwilling to take their chances in the wide world just yet. I had to forage (if picking weeds out of one’s own garden qualifies for the term)!

    • Cathy says:

      In the midst of everything I seem to have missed seeing your comment, Amy, so big apologies — it is unlike me to be so tardy! Thanks for your kind thoughts about the garden opening, and I hope your hellebore struts its stuff soon

  20. Cathy the hellebore is wonderful, I love it. I hope that the storm Dennis has not flooded his house or garden, nor that he has destroyed the garden or his house. The news that was given here in Spain by Dennis as he passed through the UK was disastrous and I have feared it would be severely affected. I hope all is well and that you and the golfer are too. Greetings from Margarita.

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