Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Hellebore & snowdrops in bloom today plus a spot of colour

Many of the snowdrops are forming seed now and it is time to nip out the spent flower to conserve and build up the bulbs. There are still varieties in bloom however but, first, a lovely hellebore tested over time and now occupying a north facing situation in its square pot where perhaps it is not as voluptuous as previous years. Still, as featured in 2014, Helleborus × hybridus 'Harvington Double White" is a spectacular sight when in full bloom. The dark situation delayed its flowering by over a month. It is repaying the wait for it does lighten the heart



Now for the snowdrops. First, two that are very similar. "The Wizard" is from Avon Bulbs. We are promised that we will fall under its spell. If it matches "Trymposter" it will do well. Both are seedlings of "Trym", "Wizard" having the more rounded outer petals, and an inner that is more or less green.

"The Wizard"
"Trymposter"

Next up is another plicatus variety, "Sophie North", noted for its short stems, thick, glaucous leaves and a tragic story for it was named after a girl in the Scottish village of Dunblane who died in the dreadful massacre of schoolchildren there in 1996. Sophie had lost her mother to cancer two years before the event. The snowdrop is distinctive at the front of a border, precious and a fitting way to remember a child.



Snowdrops can look underwhelming when photographed. "Duckie" is actually distinctive, with imposingly white petals and a dark green inner that makes a good contrast. It was introduced by Alan Street, and the second snowdrop is a reworking of his name "Alan's Treat". This is a dainty snowdrop that looks rather overwhelmed in the border by other green tipped varieties. I'll move it when it ceases to flower for it is a choice variety. (As an aside, should I ever have a snowdrop named in my honour I want it robust.)

"Duckie"



"Alan's Treat"


Too much white perhaps. A few spots of colour. The crocus have been with us for a decade and grow thickly. I have no idea of the name. The two cyclamen coum were taken from the bottom of the garden, where they proliferate with their autumn cousins, and popped into pots. One was selected for its pale foliage, the other for its dark foliage and sharp colour. On this measure, the darker the foliage the more vigorous the plant.

6 comments:

  1. Love your Harvington Double White. I think the un-named variety in my current post may possibly be the single?
    Think I'd better put G. 'Duckie' on my list for next year..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've taken a look and perhaps it is. I'll comment later this evening. Lost labels are my bête noire. As for 'Duckie' .. well it is lovely but not in the same league as the admittedly more expensive 'Big Boy', a startlingly good snowdrop with presence. Trust me. Go large.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All your featured flowers are beautiful but I have a particular affection for the hellebores, perhaps because I have a slim chance of growing them myself. However, I can't conceive of such a robust display - if I get a couple of blooms I'm happy. I planted dozens and dozens of crocus the first year in my current garden and got a good display but their numbers decreased steadily year after year - I've seen crocus foliage here and there this year but not a single bloom. In both cases, I'm unsure whether the problem is insufficient cold or insufficient water, or maybe a combination of the two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll know what works and does not in your enviable climate, Kris. However, Hellebores like a well drained soil but with plenty of organic material for their deep roots. They grow best between plants giving them some rest from the sun in the summer. My crocus flower and increase best in a sunny spot though as always they need plenty of water when at the end of flowering to get the goodness back into their corms. Fish, blood and bone works well for both. Hope you get better luck. My small crocus have spread everywhere but then they do get plenty of moisture. Good luck, Kris.

      Delete
  4. I love hellebores, but this one is beyond even that... gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beyond gorgeous sums it up. The double white is my favourite as it has a lovely inner green and flowers for ages. I have taken cuttings that are just in flower now and even attempted a few seedlings from the plant. Shame I can't send you one.

      Delete