22 Dec 2011

New Beauties for April

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!

helleborus golden lotus helleborus amber gem helleboruscottoncandy helleborus onyx odyssey helleborus sparkling diamond helleborus harlequin gem I’m so very excited! I can hardly wait!


Barry said...

[A message sent by Barry Parker]

Yeah! An Ontario nursery selling Hellebores in April. What a concept!

A brave move when most nurseries in this region don't open until May ( just in time to see the hoop house raised Hellebores going into decline).

BTW, great choice of plants.

Barry said...

Thanks for stopping by Barry P. I too find it mind boggling that nurseries that are open year round, wait until May [when Helleborus are for the most part, in their gentle decline] before carrying them. For me it is one genus that needs to be in flower when people are shopping for them, not fading away on the benches!

cheryl said...

Can I say O MY GAWD here :) These are absolutely beautiful Barry. Just what I need to see on a chilly, snowy day.
After seeing another posting you had on them, I finally found one in August. Obviously not a choice around here (rolls eyes), sheesh. The name is buried under snow so I can't say but it is suppose to be pink. Planted safely by the Celtic Circle I yearn for its bloom in Spring and after seeing these I want more!

A very Merry Christmas to you and thanks so much for your wonderful site. Cheers !

Anna said...

Must investigate those hellebores forthwith - wonder if they have swum across the pond yet. Wishing you peace and joy at Christmas Barry and throughout the year to come xxx


Hi Barry, I hope all your 2012 dreams come true.

Hanna at Orchid Care said...

Your collection is amazing!

I introduced a couple of Hellebore Hybrids into my garden collection a few years in a row but they never seem to survive to the next season. I’m not sure what they dislike about my environment. Could it be the hot summers of Southern California?

Barry said...

Most Helleborues species are srping bloomers, and here that usually means while there is a good blanket of snow on the ground. I don't think they have the tolerance for hot weather year round. They are reliably hardy here, with Zone r, meaning -20 - 30 degrees Celcius.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello there dear Barry !
I am so lucky to have a few of these already and they are truly gorgeous ... even when the flowers are not so fresh anymore the foliage stays beautiful as long as it gets enough watering (I really have to make more of an effort with that duty) .. I truly love these plants and I wish any?? of our plant places here would be as brave too ! Well done YOU !!
Cotton Candy and Sparkling Diamond are on my radar ! ;-)

cheryl said...

Psssst, Hi Barry, I visited another of me fave gardening blogs and Frances has a super post on Hellebores. I thought you might like to see it http://fairegarden.wordpress.com.
Feel free to delete this message, but you have to savour hers first :)