With the ink barely dry on the Brexit signing in early February, and well before Coronavirus panic hit, it was time for a return trip to the UK for another round of plant collecting. Accompanying me is Walters Gardens plant breeder, Hans Hansen of Michigan. Who knows how much more difficult it might become to get plants from across the pond into the US in the future. In reality, it's pretty darn difficult even now.
Our trip started with a return to John Massey's Ashwood Nursery, which is widely regarded as home to the top hellebore and hepatica breeding programs in the world. Although I'd been several times, I'd never managed to catch the hellebores in flower, and although it's hard to predict bloom timing, we arrived at the beginning of peak bloom. We were able to visit the private stock greenhouses, where the breeding plants are housed, and what amazing specimens we saw. Below are the latest selections of Helleborus x hybridus from the handiwork of long-time Ashwood breeder, Kevin Read more [...]
Here are a couple of images of the gardens at JLBG to show how we garden for the winter months. By selecting and designing your garden for the winter season, it will automatically look great during the other three seasons.
Plants featured include hellebores, rohdea, ophiopogon (mondo grass), sabal palm, Illicium 'Florida Sunshine', and a number of conifers.
Here's one of our woodland streams featuring Aucuba 'Limbata', carex, and rohdea. With proper plant selection, the garden in winter doesn't have to be a lifeless canvas of mulch.
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Here some images of plants blooming in the garden this week.
Camellia 'Cinnamon Cindy'Camellia 'Lady Vansittart'
Camellias are a great evergreen plant for the garden and depending on the species they offer blooms from fall, sporadically through the winter and into spring.
Edgeworthia 'Snow Cream'Helleborus 'Cinnamon Snow'
Edgeworthia and hellebores are both winter bloomers and the blooms pair well floating in a bowl of water.
Iris unguicularis 'Winter Echoes'
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Hellebores are the gems of the winter woodland garden. Hellebores, also known as lenten rose, come in a wide range colors and flower forms, they are deer resistant and drought tolerant once established.
This year we are pleased to offer many new hellebore hybrids from the breeding work of Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens.
We are continuing to add new hellebores to our website monthly, including selections from our own breeding. Be sure to visit during our annual Winter Open Nursery and Garden, Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, to enjoy the many hellebores blooming in the gardens as well as selecting a few gems for your own.