Now that we are in the middle of July I thought I would show off my favourite hellebore. Nope, I haven’t got the seasons mixed up, and yes, all the photos are taken in the summer, some were taken today, some last July/August and some during August 2012.
You see, I have a gem of a hellebore, it flowers every summer! Have you got one of those? This winter, my hellebores started flowering very early, due to the lack of frost, I actually had one in full flower already in December. And from December and onwards they all came in to flower and it was all finished by mid April – although I kept some of the flowers so they could develop seeds and the last seedpods opened in late May, and then that was it. All I can see now is a sea of hellebore leaves at the bottom corner of my garden.
But between some of the big leaves, one of the hellebores starts to emerge every summer instead of in the winter. If we have an early spring and a good summer like this year, it emerges in June and flowers in July - in later summers it’s more into August. It is the same hellebore that emerges every summer, a bright pink one, and I don’t have any other pink hellebores so in the winter/early spring I have none, I only see my pink hellebore in the summer!
My summer flowering hellebore has never set seed, I wait every year anxiously to see if I get any seed, but so far there has been absolutely none. To be honest, I don’t really know exactly what’s pollinating my hellebores in the winter, as there isn’t much insects around in January and February, even in my warm London garden. But there must be some of the right kind as I have loads of seeds from all my winter flowering hellebores every year. But not from my summer flowering, so perhaps the right pollinators are not around in July and August, are they on holiday? Or perhaps busy pollinating other plants? This year I have decided to try my luck hand pollinating, but since I have only one plant I am not sure it will work – a second summer flowering hellebore would have been nice but I’ve only got one. So fingers crossed, maybe I get some seeds this year, maybe the seeds grow into plants, maybe the plants inherit the mother plant’s properties and become summer flowering hellebores some oh, 4-5 years from now. And perhaps there is a market for summer flowering hellebores and someone will want to buy my plants....and I could get rich!
Ah….one can always dream :-)