Adding hellebores


Fourteen hellebore cultivars await planting on the driveway, twenty five plants total at last count, though additions are likely. There seems no end to my collecting of marvelous varieties, which is madness, I suppose, as my wife has pointed out frequently  in recent days. Already, there are dozens in the garden, and more seedlings than can be counted.

Helleborus multifidus x Helleborus x hybridus

A patch where the first eight or ten hellebores were planted years ago has expanded by triple as seedlings have popped up and spread, and another colony of seedlings has cropped up in leaf clutter where rain water runs off from this initial batch. This new group was four or five lovely clumps, but now there are dozens of seedlings that have reached a sufficient size that they can be moved around this spring.

One of the many dozens of hellebore seedlings

Groups of five and seven have been planted through the garden, and it’s conceivable that more could be planted for years to come since hellebores grow contentedly in a variety of circumstances. Certainly, new introductions are made every year, and many are such fine plants that a garden should not be without them. It is practically criminal that there are only a few double flowered types in the garden, not enough reds or yellows, and this shortage has been barely addressed with the ones waiting to be planted.

Helleborus x hybridus Harlequin Gem Strain

Part of this problem is that I must gain the greatest benefit for the fewest dollars, and many of the splendid double flowered types require too great a share of the hellebore budget. Certainly, some pennies must be saved for the Red Hot poker budget, which justifiably has expanded for this spring. And, there is now a hankering to add several (or more) big leafed hostas for the dry shade that is not far from the initial patch of hellebores. Of course, other obsessions will further extend the total garden budget unless my wife intervenes.

So, it can plainly be seen that I cannot possibly retire for at least another twenty years.

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