Already, I’m thinking ahead! To April 2012 for that matter! In an effort to give our customers something ‘green’ while it was still too cold outside to garden, I brought in a limited selection of Helleborus. There is something heartwarming about a plant that wants to bloom its heads off so early in the season! I was most impressed with the response – it was refreshing to know that there is still a fan club for this wonderful genus! Based on the positive response, I’ve upped the ante this year with even more.
Oregon based Northwest Garden Nursery is home to Helleborus breeder Marietta O’Byrne, who is responsible for single handedly reintroducing the word Helleborus to the garden repertoire! Her ‘Winter Jewel’ series features the latest in cutting edge breeding, resulting in an absolutely stunning series of plants! This is where I have focused much of my attention. Listed below are a few of the ones that I hope to have available for my loyal clientele next Spring:
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Helleborus x hybridus ‘Golden Lotus’ [Winter Jewels Collection] – this is the one that caused such a stir at Canada Blooms 2011, partly due to the fact that nobody there was selling it! Fully double lotus yellow infused flowers. Delightful!
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Amber Gem’ [Winter Jewels Collection] Similar to ‘Golden Lotus’ with delightful pink picotee markings.
Helleborus x hybrida ‘Cotton Candy’ [Winter Jewels Collection] – delightful confectionary of fully double light pink flowers, resembling a ruffled petticoat or skirt. This one appears no less than three times in my garden repertoire! Absolutely divine!
Helleborus x hybrida ‘Onyx Odyssey’ [Winter Jewels Collection] – perhaps the most talked about release in years! Near black [or so the photos lead you to believe!] double flowers make this a true conversation piece. I have found the flowers to be a deep, rich wine colour, which, when placed with the fabulously chartreuse foliage of Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ – the result is nothing less than stunning! [And yes, we’ll have the Aralia a bit later in the year!
Helleborus ‘Sparkling Diamond’ is not part of this unique collection, but for me, nothing comes close to the pristine beauty of a double flowering fully white Helleborus in the Spring garden. This is said to be an improvement on Helleborus x ‘Mrs. Betty Ranicar’ – a boast that, up until I saw ‘Sparkling Diamond’ with my own eyes, I would never have believed.
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Harlequin Gem’ [Winter Jewels Collection] – picture the sassy cousin of ‘Amber Gem’ and you get the picture! Rich pink and wine colouration with a delightful yellow infusion throughout the flowers makes this one a definite stand out selection for the discriminating gardener!