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Filtering by Tag: flowers

hellebore update

Emily Oster

Hellebores were the subject of my first flower feature last June. I planted one under an oak tree with a bunch of transplanted lily of valley sometime late last spring and have been patiently waiting for it to grow and bloom. Well I waited and waited....

It didn't show signs of growth nor did it seem to be dying until late in the fall did it begin to sprout some new foliage! Not very much but enough to give hope and then over the weekend three beautiful blossoms!

The plant is very small and I have been doing some reading about how to better foster its growth. From what I have gathered, I need to water it more during the summer months, prune back the dead blossoms and foliage in the late spring and most immediately add some compost or fertilizer as spring starts to make its debut. Now just fingers crossed that my lily of the valley transplant last year was successful....

Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts. 

first flower feature: hellebores

Emily Oster

I am introducing a new series today - flower feature. I have been doing a lot of informal research on flowers that might work in our garden so it seems only natural to share it here. As I have mentioned, there is so much to learn with gardening - varieties, growing conditions, soil composition, diseases, pruning practices etc. In my very early gardening career, I have relied heavily on the advice given at my local nursery and - Google. This first flower feature is a plant that was given on recommendation - hellebores.

I planted a type called 'ice follies' in a partial to primarily shade bed that also has lily of the valley and some hostas. Hellebores are perennial evergreen plants that are rather frost resistant, long blooming - typically early spring, and low maintenance. They can be grown in hardiness zones 6 to 9 and can tolerate full sun to full shade although they prefer partial shade. Sometime referred to as lenten roses, these flowers belong to the same family as the popular ranunculous. I selected this plant because of my shade conditions, wanting to add some color to this particular bed and the fact that it is an evergreen. One of the other really nice things about this plant is that it makes for a beautiful cut arrangement. Floret, a favorite gardening blog of mine, did a nice write up on best practices for cutting hellebore arrangements that you can read here. There are so many stunning varieties ,including lots of hybrids, that I definitely plan on adding more to our garden. Just look how pretty they are!

from top left: hellebores display via  Floret  - ivory prince variety via  Plant Delight  - ice follies variety via  Conrad Art Glass & Garden  - blue lady variety via  VonBloem Gardens  - source unknown - ivory prince bouquet via  Once Wed  - peppermint ice via  Canadian Gardening  -  picotee lady variety via  Skagit Gardens

from top left: hellebores display via Floret - ivory prince variety via Plant Delight - ice follies variety via Conrad Art Glass & Garden - blue lady variety via VonBloem Gardens - source unknown - ivory prince bouquet via Once Wed - peppermint ice via Canadian Gardening -  picotee lady variety via Skagit Gardens

sunday in the garden

Emily Oster

This past Sunday, I spent the whole day in the garden. I got two front pots planted, cleared a bed and planted 10 black raspberry starters, weeded part of one flower bed, located, filled and planted my veggie planter and put down mulch. Needless to say, by 6pm I was in need of a shower, a beer and a burger. 

On the front of the house, I went with two of these 16" pots from Home Depot

I didn't realize just how expensive pots can be so I was happy to find these for just $17.98 each. I would have preferred to do something clay or concrete like these below but it just wasn't in the budget.

If you recall from this post, I wanted to find an airy, white flowering plant just to keep it simple and soft. After consulting with a knowledgable gardener at a local nursery, she recommended Ageratum 'Mediano White'. I filled the pots with a combination of local Bluebird compost, soil saved from last year planting and leaf mulch. I decided to plant four Ageratums per pot which I am hoping will be enough to really fill out the pot. Right now, I am having my doubts. The four look rather small and I think they will grow more up than out. This is why I am considering adding a few Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' to each as well.  

The front pots were the easy part of the day as the majority of my efforts were spent in the back. This is where the veggie planter is located as well as the bed I cleared for the black raspberry starts. I filled the veggie planter with the same combination of soils as the front pots as well as a bottom layer of smashed up terra cotta pots to help with drainage. In it, I planted 3 kale, 6 spinach and 6 lettuces. More than I was planning on but its so hard not to plant what comes in the whole flat! We positioned the planter in a spot that is a little risky for sun exposure so we will have to see how things go. I love all the big trees in our yard but it makes for limited usable growing space. 

The black raspberry patch is across the yard in what I hope will be a nice sunny spot. It took me 3+ hours to clear a 2.5' wide by 10' long area so fingers crossed they take. A few look a little iffy...

There is still so much to do but I had a great time working outside and am excited to keep at it. Any readers have experience with black raspberry bushes? I would love to learn some tips!