Douglas Clegg

Hellebore is for Children

March 17th, 2020

A Garden of Dark Blooms

(One of our major interests here at Stonehaven is the garden. We have several— with themes. One is a Roman Pleasure Garden with pool and pond and tropical plants, another we call Dogwood Park with witch hazel, dogwood, plum, peony and several other bushes and plants and which also has a sitting area and rock wall; and the other is the Witch Garden full of wild things, fountains, and statues of Persephone and Demeter. Hey, life is short.)

Hellebore is one of my favorite flowering plants. It has a very decadent, debauched kind of hang to it, producing some beautiful but stygian flowers that bloom in late winter and might’ve been imagined by Edgar Allen Poe or Charles Baudelaire.

When they’re blooming, their leaves usually haven’t caught up, thus the plant looks ragged in this close-up, but this is the first hellebore blossom of the season.  We planted seven of these around the shady areas of the garden last summer. Apparently, if they manage to survive a few years, they’ll become small bushes and have the potential to produce a lot of these flowers between February and  late April.

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