Horse To Water..

Hellebore 7 Wm


Saturday was Hellebore Day at the RHS Garden Rosemoor. It was cold. Brass Monkey cold. Snow had started to fall.

My Other Half was, shall we say, less than enthusiastic. But I needed him to come along. I can usually visualise precisely the photo I want to capture, it’s when I take up the camera that things sometimes go awry. Mike has mastered the complexities of the digital SLR. My approach of trial and error is still very much at the error stage.


It started off with an excellent talk from the knowledgeable chaps at Hillier nurseries. The range of colours and forms available, how to get the most from your hellebores, how to propagate. Fellow enthusiasts craned forward to see the latest varieties and asked intelligent questions about planting and the benefits of Mycorrhizal fungi.

Mike sat and did his emails on his phone.


Hellebore 8 Wm


In the gardens the hellebores were beautifully arranged en masse.  White and light pinks.


Hellebore 6 Wm


Yellows, plain and spotted


Hellebore 2 Wm


Almost black


Hellebore 3 Wm


Deepest pink

We didn’t take a tripod. At this point the wind got up and extra stability was needed. My shoulder had to suffice. If there is any camera shake you won’t need me to tell you where the fault lay.


Hellebore 5 Wm


 Hellebore 4 Wm


Here, the plants are growing high on a rocky bank. Perfect for looking up into the flowers.


Hellebore 9 Wm


Now, who could resist?


Horse To Water

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2017-11-10T08:52:25+00:00February 25th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. 1gus1 February 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! We have hellebores in the garden but they’re hiding!!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      They are good at hiding beneath the leaves until conditions are right..

  2. Sue February 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful photographs, and the flowers aren’t bad….high praise indeed me, the confimed veggie grower 🙂

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      We need something to brighten our lives before the veggie growing starts! Thanks Sue.

  3. Natalie February 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Those hellebores are beautiful! I must check to see if they grow in my climate zone. I’d like to have some in my garden.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Some varieties zone 4 or 5.

  4. Rosie February 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Oh, yes it is essential to look up into the flowers to see the full beauty of them. I couldn’t have resisted either – I love your choice of colours:)

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      The one on the right is stunning – pink outer and peachy/apricot inner to the petals. But it also looks rather delicate. I might keep it in the pot for a while longer and coddle it a bit.

  5. haggiz February 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, I love hellebores. I think you were very restrained just buying the 3! Julie x

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      They are beautiful aren’t they. They look so exotic for something that flowers in February!

  6. Denise February 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Hellebores are indeed quite lovely. So delicate. Have you ever read ‘The Morville Hours?’ A great contemplative book for gardeners and those who like to ‘stand and stare.’

    And your blog title reminds me of another favourite joke (brace yourself) : You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead.’

    And the infamous Dorothy Parker – ‘You can lead a horticulture but you cannot make her think.’ Which is a bit rude, so apologies on behalf of Dotty and her acid tongue!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      They are DEFINITELY getting worse… 🙂

  7. Em February 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    They are SO gorgeous. Like everything else other than ferns, Columbines and Welsh Poppies here, they are struggling and the frost got the only flowers that appeared. The cream one you’ve bought is absolutely stunning. How could you resist indeed!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Some of the more exposed plants at Rosemoor were frosted, and looking a bit droopy. But according to the Hillier man, they will recover.

      • Em March 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

        He was right…..they are back!

        • Jessica March 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm - Reply

          Just in time for the next cold snap… enjoy them while you can!

  8. Judith February 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    All I can do is sit here making incoherent babbling and drooling noises, Love them. My great discovery this decade! And such lovely photographs.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Judith. I only hope my purchases will do as well!

  9. Jill Chandler. February 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    They have never really appealed to me, sorry, too dark. They are on offer in Tescos at the moment, mostly dead as no-one appears to know how to care for plants in our Tescos, so when they are reduced to almost nothing I might go in and rescue some after seeing these wonderful photos.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      I had a magnificent breakfast in Inverness last year, based on croissants and pain au chocolat reduced to 5p for a pack of four. It’s almost worth flying up on the orange bird to do the shopping..

  10. BadPenny February 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    They really are stunning plants – mine seem a bit sad this year.

    When I bought them – I had to beat a hasty retreat from the garden centre after I spied Joe ( about aged five ) poking his finger into a wall of Oasis bricks !!!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Oh how embarrassing. But isn’t it tempting? Oasis bricks are so very tactile!

  11. Vera February 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos, and would love to have hellebores here but I don’t think it is the right climate. Sounds like you enjoyed your day though, despite lack of tripod.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      A nice break after the bookshelves..

  12. Anne February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Just catching up after being away for the weekend! The bookcase is fabulous, and I love hellebores, so really enjoyed all the photos.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne, I’ll be by shortly to catch up on your weekend!

  13. the veg artist February 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    We were given one plant as a present and bought a tray of six from a chain garden centre to keep it company. They all seem to love our conditions, and have managed several years with very little attention.

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Once they are established they are certainly robust plants. Good ground cover too.. no room for weeds!

  14. Annie @ knitsofacto February 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Ooh, I’m rather partial to Hellebores too … lovely flowers!

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      They certainly are.

  15. CherryPie February 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    They all look very pretty 🙂

    • Jessica February 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      Inspiring. Even if it will take me a while to build up a similar display.

  16. Josephine February 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I should plant some of those beautiful flowers, this is my first time seeing them !

    • Jessica February 26, 2013 at 12:51 am - Reply

      They would certainly be worth a try, in a cool spot shaded from the hot summer sun.

  17. Willow February 26, 2013 at 1:15 am - Reply

    So pretty the plants with that lovely bag ~ they did make that rather irresistible!

    • Jessica February 26, 2013 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Hello Willow and welcome to rusty duck!
      Plants are my weakness, I find any hard to resist. But the real challenge lies in getting them to grow!

  18. Wendy February 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    The hellebores are fabulous. I would have to buy some too, although I think I’d have trouble choosing. They are all such unusual and beautiful colours.

    • Jessica February 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      We were told to leave them in their pots until April before planting. Plenty of time to choose the right spot..!

  19. Anny February 27, 2013 at 11:13 am - Reply

    If Hellebores were human, I’d love to know what their Myers Briggs score would be – quite different to gladioli I should think…

    • Jessica February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Quite. Perfectly understated. It’s lucky for them they flower when there is little else about. Snowdrops go beautifully with them, but maybe not daffodils? It’s 25 years since I last looked at a Myers Briggs! ISFP?

  20. Sarah February 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you took your OH the photos are stunning ,such a selection – I’m not surprised you couldn’t resist!
    sARAH X

    • Jessica February 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. My three will look a little lonely by comparison!

  21. steph February 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    hellebores are among my favorite flowers–and sadly, we rarely get much variety of them in our nurseries here. I guess I could always mailorder. What a treasure trove you have……and lovely purchases.

    • Jessica February 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      They are among my favourites too. When they bulk up they have such presence, all the more so because there is so little else on offer at this time of year.

  22. snowbird February 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Oh they are such amazing flowers aren’t they? and the sheer variety is incredible.xxxxx

    • Jessica February 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      They are. The rarest is supposed to be the double black. But its expensive and, as Mike was quick to point out, Ptolemy the pheasant would probably have the top off it.

  23. Helen March 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Found your lovely blog via Haggiz. These photos are beautiful and have inspired me to head off to the garden centre.

    • Jessica March 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Helen and welcome to rusty duck!
      I am trying to grow some from seed as well, but it’s very slow. Nothing like instant gratification!

  24. ropcorn March 3, 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

    So many lovely flowers, I can certainly see why it was hard to resist. 🙂

    • Jessica March 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Hopefully Spring will soon be on the way to Sweden too!

  25. Mitzi March 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I do love Helebores and have a number scattered around my garden.

    • Jessica March 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      Hopefully when I’ve grown my new plants on a bit I can split them and do the same!

  26. elizabethm March 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Completely stunning! I love hellebores and they are one of the things that will grow up here. I have planted about thirty (all as tiny little plants) and thought they were doing ok until I saw this! Mindblowing. And well done Mike for all the photos. That is what we call a supportive husband.

    • Jessica March 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      If you or I had Rosemoor’s budget I’m sure we could do likewise! I noticed today that some more of my seedlings are coming up, so maybe in ten years’ time..

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