Hellebores And Mid-January Notes

Remembering that many plants were on an extremely early blooming cycle last year, I have been curious about what this year’s timing might be like for the garden.

For the last few weeks I have watched expectantly for the first Hellebores of the season and today I finally noticed an open flower.

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)

Last winter (2011-2012) these hellebores bloomed very early, by December 30, 2011, whereas the winter before that (2010-2011) there were no blooms until several days after Valentine’s Day. So they are somewhere in-between this year.

I have never been bothered by the leaves on hellebores, but enthusiasts recommend pruning them before the buds begin forming to make it easier to enjoy the blossoms. Too late to do it properly but today I carefully trimmed away many of the lower, older leaves. They do look tidier after this cleanup.

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)-2

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)

Growing adjacent to the hellebores and full of buds is a winter blooming Camellia  x ‘Coral Delight.’

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

The garden is saturated from recent rains. I was surprised to see moss growing along the northern side garden where the hellebores and the ‘Coral Delight’ are planted. The high temperature reached a fine 72°F this afternoon, well above the average 54°F for this time of year. The nice warm weather should stay through Monday so I hope to finally tackle some weeding chores I have been putting off.

My time in the garden was brief today, but I did take a few minutes to walk the labyrinth. As I stepped along the path I smiled to note how well the Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has worked  to supply some year-round interest.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

16 thoughts on “Hellebores And Mid-January Notes

  1. Cathy

    Very warm for January then! We are finally getting some colder weather here, so my hellebores will need a while yet. Yours looks so healthy!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Enjoy your cold weather Cathy–maybe you’ll get some lovely snow! Still plenty of time for winter to show up here and surprise us, but it is so nice to get a warm day to work in the garden. I’m not very dedicated to be out there when it’s cold and dreary.

      Reply
  2. paulinemulligan

    When you find flowers like yours you begin to think that spring is just round the corner, hellebores are so gorgeous aren’t they?! We have snow forcast for tonight so hope all my early flowers can cope!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hope all your early bloomers will tuck themselves in carefully against the snow Pauline! I have had a few things that continued in bloom from fall because it has not been terribly cold here, but the hellebores are the first things that are really “starting to bloom” this winter.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    I do know what you mean by ‘spring’ things beginning to flower. I still have some new rose buds opening and although they are nice to have it is the winter iris that is giving me the most pleasure. Christina

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Christina there’s something exciting about seeing that cycle start up again. I remember seeing your Iris unguiclaris blooming, which I had not heard of before and now they’re on my wish list. Susie

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Snowdrops are such pretty little things. I have never grown them but would like to add them. Enjoy your brief reprieve from winter Donna! It was warm enough here to eat lunch on the patio–felt like spring, but I know it won’t last.

      Reply
  4. sweetbay103

    I hope we get some real winter weather here this year. I can’t believe I just said that, but the ticks are active again.

    I planted a couple of hellebore seedlings in my garden a few years ago; you’ve reminded me to check if they are still there.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sweetbay, a nice snow would be great–a brief one! It was nice to be outside today without pesky mosquitos. Hope your seedlings survived. I placed some around in several locations last spring but don’t think any made it (too much sun probably). Enjoy your week. Susie

      Reply
  5. P&B

    It’s nice to see flowers are blooming in your garden since there is nothing up here. I love Hellebore and hope to add more to my garden.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hellebore are wonderful. I appreciate them more each year since they bloom early and last so long. I know your flowers will be beautiful when the time comes.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, Malc. I had them for years without knowing I was supposed to remove the leaves and they were always pretty to me. I’m curious to know if you think it’s worth the extra work.

      Reply

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