Mosaic Gardens Journal

news, photos and inspiration

Hellebore Open Garden Days at Northwest Garden Nursery February 15, 2010

Filed under: Deer,events,friends — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 10:46 pm
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A black Helleborus hybrid from Northwest Garden Nursery

Our friends at Northwest Garden Nursery are holding their annual Open Garden and plant sale! This wonderful little nursery and its big display garden are only open to the public only a few days a year. Ernie and Marietta O’Byrne have spent years developing the most gorgeous strains of Hellebores, with attention to the tiniest details of foliage and flower, and working in their inspiring display garden. The garden is full of rare and wonderful plants, combined with an eye for subtle, but striking combinations of color and foliage texture.

Helleborus orientalis and related hybrids are a mainstay of our plantings. Their glossy, dark, evergreen foliage enriches shady to partial sun plantings, even those that are heavily browsed by deer. We love to plant them in groups of 7 to 40, contrasted against a block of lighter or silver foliaged plants, such as Brunnera ‘Jack Frost.’ Their foliage alone would be good enough for us, but the stunning flowers are a magical addition to the late winter garden. Caring for Hellebores couldn’t be easier. In winter, before or just as the flowers emerge, cut off the old leaves. When the flowers start to fade and set seed, cut off the whole flower stalk (with any leaves directly attached to it), leaving the new leaves that emerged after the flowers. These two simple steps will keep your Hellebore patch healthy, full and happy for years to come!

Make a date to visit Northwest Garden Nursery with your best plant buddy in the next few weeks, and start or add to your Hellebore collection.

Northwest Garden Nursery’s Hellebore Garden Open Days for 2010 are:

  • Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and 21
  • Saturday and Sunday, February 27 and 28
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 5-7

Beginning March 11 they are open regular hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the end of March (March 27).

Click here for directions and a map to the nursery.

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Mosaic Q&A – Sunset April 2008 Border February 1, 2010

Filed under: Q&A — Rebecca Sams from Mosaic Gardens @ 1:26 am
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Have a question? Want more frequent updates? We’d love to hear from you! Read more here and/or write us in the comments or at mosaic@mosaic-gardens.com.

A question from colder climes:

I cannot tell you what an inspiration the border [featured in the April 08 Sunset] has been for me! I am writing you to find out what the other plants are besides those listed in the article. I live in Northeast Wyoming do I imagine some will not work in our zone, but I will try to find similar color or texture matches for our garden.

Thanks! We’ve included a scan of the article and a plant list below. While some of the plants shown are not hardy in a cold climate, your inclination to focus on texture and color will definitely help you create your own striking border. When designing with plants, we focus on creating a palette, rather than a plant list. In the border shown in the Sunset photo, purple, silver, cream and white create a simple color palette. The playful feeling of the border comes mainly from the contrast of foliage texture – big Hellebore leaves, arching grasses, spiky iris, soft lavenders – while the spherical forms of dwarf Sitka spruce anchor the space through all seasons. One final idea worth noting is that we used small groupings of plants to create waves of foliage, rather than a jumble of individual specimens. This simplifies the visual effect, as well as the maintenance!

Sunset April ’08 photo plant list (all deer resistant in our area):

Helleborus x sternii
Iris sibirica (not sure which variety, b/c so many are similar)
Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’
Lavandula stoechas
Picea sitchensis ‘Papoose’
Carex m ‘Aureovariegata’
Miscanthus s. ‘Variegata’

We very much enjoy hearing from you, and we look forward to more questions!