I went to Vancouver this past week, got a little excited about the vast array of unusual hellebores that I found at Phoenix Perennials in Richmond. Look at this selection! Not all for me of course, I plan to share. And would like to invite anyone hankering after a few of these to stop by this weekend to make your choices.
Its so much better to buy hellebores in flower because there can be significant variation in colour and form, even in named varieties. And, I find this is the best time to buy and place new ones in the garden, when you are aware of the blank spots before all the other spring diversions really get going.
In the ground, positioned where they are happy, they will flower for weeks and weeks (generally, best in loose, rich soil in partial or dappled shade). As they fade, the hellebores quietly drift into the background, providing evergreen foliage and ground cover where they sit.
A good selection of hellebores will not only carry the flowering show in your garden through the early months of the year, but will also provide bees with early forage on warm days and a source of cut flowers when there’s not much else happening in the garden.
What’s that I hear you say? They’re not much good for cutting? They always wilt when put in a vase? Well, according to Irish flower farmers Fiona Liston and Fionnuala Fallon (@theirishflowerfarmer), hellebores can be conditioned so that you’ll get several days in the vase. These are the instructions shared by them on instagram:
1. Dip the bottom end of the stems (about an inch) in boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
2. Transfer to a 4-inch deep tray of cold water and re-cut the stems under water.
3. Lay the stems as horizontally as possible in the tray of water so that the stems (and not the flowers) stay under water. You may need a small plate (or other appropriate item) to weigh the stems down.
4. Leave them for about 4 hours before transferring to vases.
I’ll be trying it out today, keep you posted on the results.
Contact me by phone or text if you want to stop by for a peek. Available varieties are below.
Winter Jewels series: White Pearl, Berry Swirl, Slate Double, Blue Diamond, Painted, Golden Lotus, Peppermint Ice, Jade Tiger
Honeymoon series: Sandy Shores, New York Night, Rio Carnival
Mardi Gras, Cheryl’s Shine, Glenda’s Gloss, Spring Darling