Winter Projects Part 1

Winter Projects Part 1

Helleborus Spring Promise ‘Elly’. Spring Promise is a series from Helleborus Gold Collection. Most have a very upright flowering habit.

one of the many newer upright hellebores–stlll can’t find a tag…

Those pictures are from a few years ago. I want to see the garden looking like above, but this is what it looks like now:

Hellebore in winter before pruning. The flowers haven’t started to show yet, but the foliage has no redeeming virtue as it looks now, so it goes.

Pre-winter pruning. This is ‘Mary Lou’; foliage looks good, but scroll down for more…

I’ve written about pruning your Hellebores several times before, so now I just want to amend the suggestions. Specifically, leave the foliage if you don’t need to cut it, and for some, cut the foliage before you think you need to.

Extremely ratty looking Helleborus nigercors

Regardless what the flowers are doing, early winter flowering, late flowering, short or tall, leaves that look like this should have been cut long ago. But it’s winter, and always wet, and I waited until the roofers had finished replacing my roof. In the meantime, the flowers started to grow tall, and making sure yesterday that I got the foliage and spared the flower stalks was a challenge.

And much as I love hellebores, this particular one never looks very beautiful. I may move it and see if it will do better in a little more sun. It’s currently in the shadiest spot possible–not only does the sun never hit that spot even on June 21, but it’s also growing underneath an evergreen shrub.

Helleborus nigercors ‘White Beauty’. Except not very beautiful.

But back to pruning. Below is ‘Elly’. It has no flower buds pushing up yet, and the foliage is actually in great condition. So I’ll leave it for now, and check again in a few weeks time.

Helleborus orientalis ‘Elly’

Helleborus orientalis ‘Mary Lou’

Mary Lou on the other hand is really trying to be seen, so despite the foliage looking quite good (see above), she should have had a haircut weeks ago as well. Can I remember next year to do this before Christmas? And again, carefully sparing the flower stalks while cutting all the leaf petioles–I was down on my knees with my head upside down. Uncomfortable. Fortunately, most of the petioles are green and most of the flower stalks are red.

Post pruning. Ahh, much better.

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Dull Day in Feb

It’s almost always a dull day in Feb, but unlike many “northern” places, and unlike last year, this dull Monday is mild, as has been the whole winter season.

Hence, spring-ish garden pics–same plants I show you most years!:

Sarcococca–spectacular fragrance at my front door.

You can imagine how adaptable Sarcococca is: it’s growing in never-amended soil, between concrete and asphalt, in a bed that is 12″ wide and about 9′ long.

one of the many newer upright hellebores–stlll can’t find a tag…

There’s really nothing like seeing big red or white or creamy green clumps of hellebores sprouting up through mounds of wood chip mulch!

Helleborus Spring Promise ‘Elly’. Spring Promise is a series from Helleborus Gold Collection. Most have a very upright flowering habit.

Another untagged hellebore. Can’t even find a google image that has the same colour and petal (actually sepal) shape.

Galanthus nivalis

Euphorbia x martinii

again

Iris reticulata ‘Clarette’

Now here’s a shrub/small tree that no one should be without–Hamamelis–Witch hazel.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

‘Diane’ isn’t very fragrant, but she makes up for that lack with outstanding colour. It would be even better if the background weren’t so dull. If you have snow on the ground, you’d appreciate those little spidery flowers much more. Two alternatives both for a climate like mine, and for fragrance, are ‘Arnold’s Promise’ and ‘Pallida’. Both have light-coloured (creamy white to yellow) flowers, so they show up better against the brown ground, and they are wonderfully fragrant. When I bought ‘Diane’ it was billed as ‘fragrant’, but it’s not at all. Maybe I should splurge and find room for ‘Pallida’.

Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’

Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’

 

 

 

 

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