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Hellebore-Great Groundcover for Dry Shade

Hellebore is a drought & deer proof groundcover for the shade perennial garden

Have you ever noticed how poorly some plants do beneath trees and tall shrubs? Tree roots can easily zap away moisture and nutrients leaving anything under planted looking weary & tired.

Rather than fight with it, select from a group of care-free plants that can take dry shade conditions and have minimal requirements when it comes to nutrients & moisture.

I particularly love Hellebores for this.  When I planted seven of these early spring flowering ground covers last fall I thought I’m not sure if they are all going to make it.  I dug pretty hard to get in between a few tree roots and there wasn’t a lot of soil for me to work with.  I added some topsoil, mulched and watered well and to my amazement they all made it through next spring.

I do like planting spring flowering plants such as Hellebore in the fall. Plants still grow in the fall because soil temperature and moisture levels are usually at a level that promotes rapid root growth needed to sustain plants through the first critical year in the landscape.  So by spring I’ll have larger more established plants and more blooms to enjoy that first year.

Hellebores is a terrific solution if you have dry shade in your perennial garden.  In addition to the beautiful spring flowers, hellebore is the perfect deer resistant shade plant with evergreen foliage which provides year round interest.

Garden Video: Hellebore Pink Frost-New shade groundcover!

Hellebores have become America’s #1 Deer Proof Plant for Shade Garden.  Pink Frost Hellebore is a  spring flowering shade groundcover with unique silver evergreen foliage. Exciting rare &  drought proof perennial. Watch our video and  find out why this is such a stunning shade plant for the perennial garden.

Grown and shipped in our Jumbo 1 Quart Pots  at www.GreatGardenPlants.com

The Best of Both Worlds!

Helleborus Walberton's Rosemary

Earliest blooming Hellebore!

I never thought I’d live to see the day that we were able to grow a true PINK flowered Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger), but famed English hybridizer David Tristram has finally accomplished his goal!

After many years of careful hand-crossing Helleborus niger with Helleborus x hybridus, David was finally successful in creating a true inter-specific cross.

It was originally thought that these two different species would never cross with each other, however Mr. Tristram has proved this theory wrong.

Helleborus Winter Thrillers Mix

Vast flower colors of Helleborus x hybridus

As you can see from the picture on the right, Helleborus x hybridus comes in a wide variety of flower colors, shapes, and sizes. Whereas the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger is a pristine, clear white in color.

Walberton’s Rosemary Hellebore is a superb hybrid between these two that now gives gardeners the “Best of Both Worlds”! We get the rich pink flower color from the xhybridus parent and the 3 month earlier bloom time from the niger parent.

Helleborus Walberton's Rosemary, superb deer proof shade plant

Deer proof shade plant Walberton's Rosemary Hellebore

We’ve just finished Halloween here in western Michigan and our plants of Walberton’s Rosemary are coming into full bloom! WOW! I’ve never seen another Hellebore bloom this early in the year.

As you can see from the picture on the left, the hybridization process has also produced a plant with superb vigor! Christmas roses can be a bit tricky to grow in the home garden, but when Mr. Tristram crossed it with the vigorous x hybridus, he greatly improved its garden vigor.

Helleborus Walberton's Rosemary

Tremendous flower power of Walberton's Rosemary Hellebore

As you can see from the image on the right, this new hybrid has tremendous flower power! I shot this picture at Skagit Gardens before this plant had been released several years ago. I was simply amazed at the huge number of blooms on these 2 gallon specimen containers!

Congratulations to Mr David Tristram for all his years of dedicated hard work! His new Walberton’s Rosemary Hellebore brings another new realm of great garden possibilities to our favorite and Colorful Deer Proof Shade Hellebores!

Get a Jump on Spring with Fall Planting

Fothergilla is a low growing hedge plant for part shade boasting brilliant fall color

“The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.” Rabindranath Tagore

Fall planting establishes the necessary root growth required to anchor the plant in its new environment and build up nutrient reserves for healthy & sustainable growth next spring.

Interesting Info on Fall Planting

  • Over 75% of a plants root growth occur in  fall
  • Soil is warmer in fall than in spring
  • Roots continue to grow as long as the soil is not frozen
  • Plants will grow better in the spring with a well established root system
  • Plants are better equipped to handle drought & extreme conditions the following season
  • Plants use less water in the fall as they become established

Plants Have to Work Harder in Spring

If you plant in the spring, plants have to do double duty.  They must adjust to its new environment AND put on leaves, flowers and be ready to embrace summer heat & humidity.  Fall planting is beneficial as roots continue to grow and become established.  In spring, plants are happy in their new environment and ready to put on strong top growth & flowers.

Planted in the fall, Fothergilla will be well established to support spring flowering honey-scented blooms

Start NOW

Yes, you can get that head start on spring by planting now!  If you need to limit yourself to a few  fall planting tasks, then consider planting spring-flowering perennials & shrubs such as:

Lily of the Valley

Dicentra

Hellebore

Lilacs – Syringa

Fothergilla

Related ArticlesBenefits of Fall Planting, 12 Fall Maintenance Garden Tips, Hot Tips for Cool Fall Weather

The Hellebores are coming into bloom!

Helleborus Grape Galaxy from Great Garden Plants

Helleborus Grape Galaxy

It’s getting to be one of my favorite times of the year as all of my Stock Plant Hellebores begin to come into bloom! These ultra-easy and extremely hardy Shade Plants make superb, long-lived perennials in the garden. Their foliage is semi-evergreen in the North and totally evergreen in the South.

Plus, they are 100% DEER PROOF! I’ve grown Hellebores for over 15 years and have had deer prance thru my garden chewing everything in site, BUT they have never touched a single Hellebore. This might be because their leaves are slightly toxic.

My Hellebores are all in greenhouses in Western Michigan and are beginning their flower show much earlier than plants outdoors. In most parts of the country, they’ll begin their flower show in late winter and continue for over 8 weeks.

Hellebores, with their dark green foliage, make superb companions to shade-loving plants like Heucheras, Hostas, Hardy Ferns, & Hydrangeas.

If you’ve never grown Hellebores, now is the perfect time to start! We’ve got over 13 colorful selections for you to choose from on our website at www.GreatGardenPlants.com !

Happy New Year to All!

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