There is little going on in the January garden. The short days and dark nights are only good for planning and not for planting. But wait…what’s that spot of color over there? And there? And there!
Sometimes known as the Christmas Rose, Hellebores are wonderful winter plants that bloom from late December until late February. And there are so many varieties to choose from. I have one that is almost black and another that is purple and pink. The lighter colored ones are the ones most obvious in the winter garden, but the black one has its charms, too. I have mine in a secluded spot near the front gate, but I really need to move him into a place where he is not lost in the shadows. The reason I refer to this Hellebore as masculine is because his real name is Helleborus ‘Dark Knight’ and the name suits him.
Although I said I need to move the Dark Knight, I will have to use caution in doing that as once Hellebores are established, they don’t like being dug up and moved. I will be sure and take a lot of soil if I do find a potentially better spot. The alternative is to look for seedlings around the “mother” plant and transplant those in the early spring before they get too settled in.
I also have a H. ‘Ivory Prince’ that I found at the now-defunct Yard, Garden and Patio Show in Portland over five years ago. It is a very pretty ivory color that stands out on a dark winter day. This is one I did successfully move last year as it was being crowded out by surrounding shrubs. It is now in a pot in the shade and very happy. One year I counted (yes, I really did) over 50 blossoms on this one plant.
One of my favorite Hellebores is called Helleborus x sternii ‘Hot Flash.’ This one has an unusual leaf type as it is variegated, thick, leathery and jagged edged rather than the typical dark green Hellebore leaf. But the flowers are