Admiring hellebores in the woodland edge border earlier in the week, probably now at their peak, I was tempted to invite more to the party – but I resisted, until searching specialist hellebore nurseries to try and identify the one I showed on Wednesday, when resistance proved to be futile… Highlighted on Ashwood Nursery’s website were their new and seemingly unique Evolution series of hellebores, ‘prized for their long lasting vibrant tones through the tepals, with red or golden nectaries, some enhanced by a red flush as well as superb colour on the backs of the blooms. There are even a few with the addition of gentle spotting around their centres’.
So yes, I succumbed but, brushing this temptation under the carpet, the lesson I learned came from the cultivation and care leaflet, where they advised that although most hellebores should have all their foliage trimmed back in late December or January, evergreen species and those of interspecies hybrids like the Rodney Davey Marbled group and H ericsmithii varieties should only have damaged and diseased foliage removed as needed to tidy them up. This immediately explained what went wrong with H Ericsmithii ‘Winter Moonbeam’ and H ‘Anna’s Red’ (a Rodney Davey variety):
H ‘Pirouette’ and H ‘Penny’s Pink’ narrowly escaped the same fate because of their position in the woodland edge border where most of their foliage was hidden, unlike the relatively bare ground of the former:
So, a worthwhile lesson learned alongside the arrival of some lovely new hellebores – and a lesson for others to be aware of too!
Down in the Coop Corner with the sorry-looking hellebore is the equally sorry-looking Clematis armandii, one arm of which is looking a bit ‘iffy’ but is now producing blooms, whilst the other is definitely a goner:
In the Coop, the permanent ‘green’ fragrance is now joined by the more floral perfume of fragrant narcissi, supplementing those of long-blooming hyacinth. Here we have ‘Erlicheer’ and ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’:
I mentioned fritillaries in my End of Month post and, to prove the point, there is now colour on at least one of the buds. Each year, I add more bulbs to my Peter Nyssen order to help them increase further, although when happy (as I think these are) they do seed themselves around.
Unsure whether the hellebore photos count as one, I may or may not have reached or exceeded my six for Jon the Propagator’s Saturday meme, although he is not overly strict about our counting, so I shall finish with the pulmonarias which have been starting to bloom in recent weeks, adding subtle splashes of colour to the carpet of snowdrops in the woodland edge border and elsewhere; here we have the aptly named ‘Shrimps on the Barbie’ and reliable ‘Blue Ensign’: