February 20, 2011
Winter Jewels Double Hellebores
Here are some photos of the double Winter Jewels hellebores that I saw at the Northwest Garden Nursery in Oregon. I didn't stop to write down names to go with the pictures, and there's variation within each named group, so I'm giving my best guess as to the names. I believe the one above would be 'Onyx Odyssey'.
Here are flowers from the six plants that I lugged home with me on the plane. In the center is an 'Onyx Odyssey', and clockwise from the white 'Sparkling Diamond' you can also see what might be a 'Harlequin Gem', light pink 'Cotton Candy', green 'Jade Tiger', and 'Peppermint Ice'
I had imagined the plants coming in little 4" pots, but the smallest size was a 1 gallon, and most of these were in 2-gallon pots. I removed the pots and some extra soil (though the pots were mostly roots), wrapped the root balls in plastic grocery bags, and carefully packed them into a giant tote bag. Somehow they fit - mostly - under the airplane seat as my carry-on. My arms are sore today from carrying that heavy bag around!
Here are some other pictures of double-flowered types. Above is a 'Peppermint Ice'. Visiting the nursery was quite an adventure. It was out in the middle of nowhere, and by the time I arrived at 10:05 am (5 minutes after opening on the first day), there were already over a hundred people crowded into the tiny greenhouse, picking through potted hellebores.
I think the one above would be 'Berry Swirl'. I spoke briefly with Ernie O'Byrne, one of the owners, and he told me that last year they had 1300 plants out for the first day of their open house. During the two hours that they were open that day, they sold all but 40.
Here is 'Golden Lotus'. Based on my experience, I would recommend that you get there early on the first day if you ever decide to go to their open house. Otherwise there won't be much left.
Here is another 'Golden Lotus'. You can see the variation within named groups, as the first plant has a bit of burgundy around the edges of the petals (tepals), while the second plant is entirely greenish-yellow.
I'm guessing that these next two photos show 'Cotton Candy', though the online photos of CC don't show any quite like these. Many of these hellebores were growing in the gardens surrounding the nursery, so I imagine that not all of them fit into the named groups.
I also took photos of single-flowered hellebores and wider views of the gardens. I'll do two more posts to show all those pictures.
Here is a lovely 'Berry Swirl' plant. I think it might be more sophisticated to admire simple, single-flowered hellebores, roses, peonies, etc. But I can't help but fall for the frilly doubles.
Here is another 'Onyx Odyssey' plant, this one more black than the maroon one at the top of the post. Honestly, I don't think there were any double-flowered plants that I didn't want to take home with me - plus plenty of the singles, too! But I'll have to be happy with my half-dozen . . . and look forward to interesting seedlings in the years to come.