The Lenten Rose Helleborus x hybridus is in flower with its ‘profusion of perfect plum petals‘. It’s taking advantage of the exceptional mild November weather we’re having at the moment. In fact it has certainly pulled off an early winter flower display which will last now until Spring.
All the text books will tell you that these herbaceous perennials are in flower from late winter to late spring. Well this particular unknown variety of Helleborus x hybridus seems to break all the rules. It’s never without buds around ground level at this time of year. But never has tall stems and curvy open petals like this at this time of year. It grows in soil that is shaded by the midday and afternoon sun. Along with growing in a soil that is full of decomposed leaves. Well I’ve never claimed to be a tidy gardener!
The Lenten Rose
I always cut away the old leaves before the plant starts to flower. Not only does it make it easier to photograph the flowers. It also gets rid of old leaves that are always susceptible to Hellebore leaf spot. Then in early spring I give it a nitrogen rich feed to encourage a new crop of leaves. If you don’t want seedlings then cut the old flower stems off. The seedlings will never be ‘true to type’ unless you self pollinate them yourself.
Long Lasting Colour
So if you’re looking for long lasting colour in the garden until Spring I can thoroughly recommend this hardy tough perennial. It grows well with Euphorbia, Pulmonaria, Bergenia and Epimedium. Plus it shouldn’t end up as an early morning breakfast treat as the deer and rabbits avoid it like the plague! It also doesn’t mind a heavy clay soil.
Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com