There was a brief moment of sun in between rain events recently. Astonished at the sight of shadows on the slope behind the house we tossed aside the laptop, lept out of the lazyboy and grabbed the camera to take advantage of the superior light conditions on the wet landscape.A low purring whirring buzzing was darting around our heads as knees and elbows rested on sodden ground trying to look upwards into the innards of the bells of the blooming hellebores, Helleborus orientalis. Oh joy of joys! A little buzzer was dining on the nectar and loading his saddlebags with creamy white pollen. He was slow moving and methodical, manuevering from flower to flower as positioning was adjusted to get a shot of him.The pollen jockey was getting annoyed at the human breathing down his neck. He had a job to do. Let us leave him to his business and get on with our own.Hellebores are glorious late winter flowers with large substantial leaves and a tough constitution. However, the hidden beauty within is difficult to capture, even with the plantings on a steep slope such as ours. Contortions and joint popping positions push an aging body to its limits. Last year we wrote about looking for the blooms with freckles, or spots on the petals. Click here to read about that pursuit.What is this? A flower facing upwards to the sky! Wonder of the universe, an answer to a humble request. Could there be more of your kind growing on the hilly terrain here?Well yes, here are a couple more. Is it the uppermost flowers that deign to show their faces to the world? The bravest and best at the top of the heap?Gazing about there is another hanging down bell spied, or make that trumpet whose viewing is enhanced by the elevation of the slope. The inherited daffodil, spread about in every garden bed ad finitum, Narcissus pseudonarcissus is growing happily at the feet of fothergilla. Common in commerce around the time this house was constructed, 1943, this daffodil classified in the Trumpet group can be seen all over town in the older neighborhoods blooming brightly even on lots where the house is no longer standing. Woodlands and fallow fields hold these flowers by the thousands. It is treasured here for the bloom time, two weeks earlier than most of the other narcissi. Every garden should have some and ours have been shared with family and friends near and far. It is hard to stress enough the importance of time of bloom for many of the winter bloomers. Seen singly in a catalog photo the impact of a sea of yellow nodding heads atop glaucous blue green spears of foliage might be lost. Please if you happen upon this variety consider adding them to your space. You will not be sorry.Making its debut for 2009, N. ‘Jetfire’. Also among the earliest daffs are the Cylamineus group, named for their reflexing flower petals which resemble those of Cyclamen. Small and durable N. Jetfire is a good naturalizer too.
The hellebores are leading the way in the spring procession here, accompanied by the earliest daffodils, the small clump of snowdrops and the winter blooming heaths. Soon to follow are the quinces. More and more bulbs will join in, with the inherited grape hyacinths offering blue background to the brightness. Arnold and Diane witch hazels remain in bloom although Diane is beginning to fade. Each blooming sized hellebore is surrounded by numerous seedlings. Some of these are dug to be shared, some will be relocated and the rest will be left to fend for themselves until one day they will join in the show with their ancestors.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
- Awards Page
- Eastern Box Turtles Of Fairegarden
- England Trip 2010-Two Innocents Abroad
- Garden Bloggers Meetups
- How To Posts
- Plants We Grow-Daylilies
- Plants We Grow-Deciduous Azaleas
- Plants We Grow-Hostas
- Plants We Grow-Iris
- Plants We Grow-Lilies
- Plants We Grow-Orchids
- Plants We Grow-Spring Bulbs
- The Biscuit Page