About this time last year I bought a pack of six mixed Hellebore plants for the bargain price of £9.99. They were tiny plug-plants and I realistically didn't expect them to flower in their first year. I'm hopeful though that this year I may get a couple of blooms. I have no experience with growing Hellebores, so I really don't know what to expect. I have however noticed how expensive mature Hellebore plants are to buy, so I'm guessing that they take quite a while to reach maturity.
One of the plug-plants was very weak right from the start and didn't survive, but I planted the others out during the Spring, in the border which hosts my Dogwoods and the Cotinus:
My research has told me that Hellebores tolerate shade during the Summer and bloom at a time when most other plants have few leaves, so I am hoping I have chosen a suitable spot. As you can see, they are currently well insulated by a layer of fallen leaves. Should those leaves remain where they are, or should I remove them? What do you think?
Most of the plants now have some significant new growth, which I am hoping will include flower buds.
As well as the original six plug-plants I also have some Hellebores from different sources. One is a rather larger plant which I bought in a Garden Centre. At the time it had a flower bud on it which looked as if it would open very soon. Unfortunately it never did. It just sat there doing nothing for weeks and weeks and eventually died back. This year the plant is well-established and will hopefully do better.
It definitely has a flower bud emerging, which with a bit of luck will actually open this time!
My third source of Hellebores has been some seeds sent to me by fellow blogger Elaine. After an extensive period of vernalisation a couple of them finally germinated and got established. They are now at about the same size as the plug-plants were when I got them.
Since they are still very tiny I have protected them with some sticks, to deter the cats / foxes / badgers from digging them up (vain hope!)
I really do hope the Hellebores do well (eventually), because a bit of colour in the garden during Winter would be most welcome. If they do flower you may rest assured that I will write about them again!