On a recent trip to Salt Spring Island, I acquired three hellebore plants at Fraser’s Thimble Farm, a nursery that specializes in the unusual and intriguing. Soon after, I read this post about hellebores by Paul Andruss on Sally Cronin’s blog. That inspired me to feature my three new plants in a post of their own.
These plants aren’t your run-of-the-mill hellebores, like most of the ones I already have. They are hybrids specially developed by breeders looking for striking effects and unique colours.
First, Helleborus x ericsmithii “Pirouette”, a lovely soft pink with lime green nectaries and cream-coloured stamens that look like stars.
Next, Helleborus x hybridus “Winter Jewel Black Diamond”. This is about as close as you can get to a black flower. It’s really a dark purple-red with a greyish bloom on the petals that gives them that nearly black look.
Finally, Helleborus x hybridus “Winter Jewel Ruby Wine”. This one looks gorgeous with the flowers and leaves backlit by sunlight.
The featured image at the top of the post shows “Ruby Wine” with “Ivory Prince” in the background. “Ivory Prince” has lived in a big blue pot near my front door for years. Now it has “Ruby Wine” for company.
While I was taking pictures of the new plants, I noticed this youngish plant of the Corsican hellebore, Helleborus argutifolius, self-seeded in just the right place.
Lastly, not a hellebore at all, but a photo of the Japanese quince, Chaenomeles japonica, that grows against a weathered cedar fence at the back of the garden. Years ago, I saw a photo similar to this in a calendar and determined to reproduce the effect in my own garden. Unlike many horticultural intentions, this one has actually succeeded.