Last week I promised you hellebores and didn’t deliver them. Shame on me. Here they are.
They’re my same-old-same-old Pine Knot and Royal Heritage hybrids planted several years ago. I still haven’t learned to love hellebores, but the breeders are making it easier with more vivid colors and double flowers. I think it’s the colors I have trouble with. So many of the pinks, especially the mauve-y ones, just look muddy (indistinct, wishy-washy, faded, not pretty) to me.
Some nurseries take a more relaxed approach, simply collecting seed from good plants which have been bee-pollinated and giving them names like Royal Heritage, Ballards Strain or giving the name of a clone to seed collected from open pollinated plants. The results, however, can be highly unpredictable. So the best advice, unless you’re prepared to take a chance, is to visit a nursery and choose plants in flower.
But the colors irk me more in the garden than in the house. Snip off a few florets right where they meet the flower stalk, fill a bowl with water, float the flowers on the water, and now you have something attractive.