Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Beautiful winter flowers

Garden Bloom Day has just passed and browsing through other garden blogs I noticed many comments regarding the likely absence of flowers for future winter posts. Coincidentally last Friday evening I picked up a collection set of young plants that will be in flower from November through until March. I had originally intended to title this post as ‘A blast from the past’ as it has been some time since I have had this plant growing in my garden!

Helleborus Orientalis can be seen in the photo montage above showing the mix that this set promises although I am not holding my breath that I will get one of each. However, this selection will be a good start for their return into my garden. The plants are young so I expect flower numbers will be small but as the bees will pollinate these plants it is likely that if they reseed I will get different flower types in the future. I think they will look best in my Gunnera border with the ferns and wild flowers, which is sheltered and in semi shade, but I might plant a couple around my pond so I can see them from my window.

I will definitely return to posting on this plant group in the future - they have beautiful foliage too. There are many different varieties of Helleborus or Hellebores are they are more commonly known. I particularly like the green flowers. I came across this set when I wasn’t looking for them and I am so glad I did. Their flowers always remind me of the Japanese Anemones although they are what I would call ‘shy’ or ‘modest’ flowers as they don’t usually face upwards. You have to lift them up to see them. I can remember many years ago visiting a collection in a woodland setting in Scotland where the owners of this garden laid a series of mirrors on the ground so you could see the flowers without touching them. Although this was quite strange to see it was an absolutely fascinating visit!

Finally, I must add that a widespread frost is expected in Scotland overnight so I wonder if I will have any plant casualties. I will expect to see the bird feeders particularly busy tomorrow morning and tonight I had better remember to put out plenty of food for the hedgehog who still visits - although we don't always see it.

3 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

I love hellebores, Shirl. Unfortunately, they're said to prefer more acidic soil than we alkaline-soil gardeners have. I haven't tried any, but maybe my fellow Austin bloggers have.

Even without them, being in such a warm climate I'll have a few flowers all winter. And I often plant pansies as a winter annual. It's still way too early for those yet though. Summer-like highs are still forecast through the weekend--ugh.

Barbara said...

I am very fond of helleborus too!! You show spectacular sorts and colours of them...Do you really think your little new ones will already bloom in winter? I've got a lot of new ones too (which have been seeded out), but I think they will need some years until their first bloom!
Barbara

shirl said...

Hi again, Pam and Barbara :-)

Pam – as gardeners we can still enjoy plants even when we cannot grow them in our own gardens. I would love to grow Agave’s in my front garden but they would never survive our cold winter winds and temperatures :-( I am really looking forward to comparing plants during the winter months between my Scottish garden and yours in Austin, USA :-D I have to say that I’m not a pansy fan but I love the little violas. I enjoy seeing them in other gardens though. We had frost last night as you have your high summer temps :-D

Barbara – I had a feeling you were going to like hellebores too :-D I will be honest and say that I am not really sure if I will get flowers or not this year – but you can bet that I’ll be out checking for buds regularly! It is possible it could be another year but I’m sure they will be worth the wait :-D