Opps! More Hellebores
One of the most frustrating things at this time of year is that I only get the weekends to garden as it’s too dark when I get home from work during the week. So when the weekend is wet and cold like this weekend I find myself pacing around and staring out the window trying to convince myself that I really do want to garden in the pouring rain.
Just to add to my frustration today I have mysteriously hurt my left hand. I have no idea how, it just started to hurt whenever I moved my thumb which makes it tricky to lift or hold anything with any weight. So what to do? Well I had a quick walk around the garden before the rain got too heavy. It was nice to see a Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) in flower although a bit late for Christmas. I have to say that I’m not that keen on these plants as the flower stems seem to be quite lax meaning the flower droops down to the ground even more than you would expect from a Hellebore. I much prefer Hellebores with a more upright habit even if the flowers do hang down. My favourite at the moment is the yellow/red one in the top photograph. I am pleased to see it flowering since I unceremoniously moved the plant at the end of last Spring and then I read that Hellebores didn’t respond well to being moved. It seems that as with many gardening ‘rules’ its not really the case.
But a walk round the garden was not sufficient to alleviate my fidgety need to be outside so the next idea was a trip to the local nursery. I frequently seem to visit nurseries and garden centres in the rain as if the weather is Ok I’m gardening – another downside of working full-time I suppose. I did visit this nursery last weekend when it was 2C and icy underfoot. My reason was that I want a tree for the back garden and I have been thinking about it quite a bit over the winter and had drawn up a shortlist of possibilities. So why not on a cold crisp day have a look to see if my local nursery had any of the trees on my wish list. Sure enough they did and I came away with a shorter shortlist.
So this morning I went to buy my tree as an early birthday present to myself. Of course no self-respecting gardener comes away from a nursery with just one plant and I found myself with a Cotinus and two Hellebores (above and below). The Cotinus wasn’t an impulse buy as I had planned to get one for a specific corner which can get a little dry and where I needed a dark leaf to offset the surrounding plants. However, the hellebores were definitely an impulse buy. They aren’t named varieties which is fine by me, I just liked the flowers. I now need to decide where to put them. I have a couple of ideas but being forgetful I am going to wait to see if there are actually dormant perennials in the gaps I have identified before digging up something accidentally again!