07 April 2012


I love them, and every time I say the genus name out loud I feel like Katharine Hepburn: "The hellebores are in bloom again . . ."

But, gosh, what a pretty flower. And all the more so because I have to crawl around on my hands and knees and search them out. They nod and hide among the leaves. And because I planted mine among some pachysandra, which has somewhat similar-looking leaves, I really have to crawl around to locate the plants as well as the flowers. 

A few weeks ago on "Gardeners' Question Time," one of the panelists visited Ashwood Nurseries in Staffordshire and talked with Phillip Baulk, who breeds hellebores. He was awfully proud of some new varieties that have upward-facing blossoms, and he asked Pippa Greenwood what she thought of them. She giggled, hesitated, and then told him that she thought they were horrible. She likes her hellebore blossoms facing downward, because she likes to have to look for them, same as me. Even though the upward-facing variety in question shown on the Gardeners' Question Time website is nice looking, the blossoms have a sort of a brazenness to their gaze. They're a little too direct. 


If you feel the need to contemplate a bloom from a sitting or standing position (rather than lying on your back among the pachysandra), you can do what I do: pinch one off and float it in an eggcup. 

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