Hellebore Seminars for the Totally Obsessed

yellow hellebore by perseverando

Where: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

325 S Roberts Rd

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010



When: (Select One)

Saturday, March 20, from 10 to 11:30 am

Sunday, March 21, from 1 to 2:30 pm

Friday, April 2, from 10 to 11:30 am

Saturday, April 3, from 10 to 11:30 am

Cost: $25 per person

Attendance is limited to 15 people

Content: Using examples from my own gardens, I will cover everything and anything you ever wanted to know about hellebores, including:

+ How to grow and maintain them

+ How to propagate them by division and seedlings

+ How to pick the best plants

+ The difference between “species” and. “hybrid” hellebores

+ What makes a superior hybrid hellebore

+ What is special about the 15 or so species of hellebores

+ Some of the interesting new species crosses available

+ A special selection of hellebores will be available for purchase, including rare plants potted just for the seminars

The seminars are suitable for any level gardener as long as you can listen to discussions of the most esoteric qualities of hellebores without your eyes glazing over. Questions and observations from the group are encouraged. Feel free to bring samples for identification and discussion.

Registration: To register, please click on this address carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net and send me an email listing the seminar date, your name, and phone number. You will receive a reply confirming your registration and containing further details.

A Hellebore.....The Lenten Rose by keithhull

Oct 3 Open House for Carolyn’s Shade Garden

Carolyns Shade Garden in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Carolyn's Shade Garden in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Carolyn is opening her shade garden to the public on Saturday, October 3, from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (checks and cash only).  The following information about the open house is from Carolyn herself.

Please don’t arrive before 10 am. If you can’t come on Saturday, please feel free to schedule an appointment on Friday, October 2, or during the week after the open house.

Parking and Directions: Directions are attached. If you are coming on Saturday, please take a moment to review the parking instructions included with the attached directions. Complaints from neighbors about the parking situation can be avoided by following these simple guidelines.

Now that summer is over, it’s time to think about transforming your fall garden with late-blooming flowers and beautiful ornamental leaves. Fill in spots left by dormant plants, screen tired hosta, add flowers, include hellebores for winter interest—enjoy your garden year round. Fall is the best time to plant because soil temperatures are elevated into December, but new plantings don’t have to contend with hot weather and drought (that’s why bulbs are shipped to our area in October). The plants that I plant in fall are some of the healthiest specimens in my garden. Make your fall garden as beautiful as your spring display!

This open house will offer blooming, specimen size turtlehead, toad-lily, garden phlox, Japanese anemone, hardy begonia (pink and white), and much more. We will also have unusual ferns (including the much-requested holly fern) and plants grown for leaves as well as flowers such as purple, caramel, and lemon coral bells. There will be a good supply of the plant everyone has been asking for—Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (flowers continuously and copiously from May until frost)—and of the 2008 Hosta of the Year ‘Blue Mouse Ears’.

Hellebores: Hellebores have been in demand the last few falls so I have potted up some beautiful, large ‘Blue, White, and Pink Lady’ hellebores for the sale. My own double white plants, ‘Double Integrity’, are huge and ready to sell, and I will also offer the mixed color ‘Double Queen’. I have potted up some very nice specimens of ‘Honeyhill Joy’, a vigorous Christmas rose-Corsican cross with shiny dark green leaves and white, outward-facing flowers. There will also be a good supply of the early blooming (November) and vigorous Christmas rose cultivar ‘Jacob’.

Reusable Plant Crates, Boxes, and Pots: If you took a plastic crate at a previous open house, don’t forget to reuse it on Saturday. Please continue to bring cardboard boxes–we always need more. I am happy to reuse my pots but only if they are black nursery pots with a 100, 200, or 400 on the bottom. Please check the bottom of the pots before bringing them as unusable pots are creating a trash problem.

Questions: My catalogue is an excellent resource for information about the ornamental characteristics and cultural requirements of the plants I offer. I often find incorrect information on the preprinted plastic plant tags and recommend that you go to my catalogue first. Email me to request a copy. Printed copies will be available at the open house. If your question is not covered in the catalogue, please feel free to consult one of my knowledgeable open house “volunteers” in the yellow hats.

Stop by on Saturday and see my gardens. The manicured look of spring has been replaced with the bold and rangy (weedy) look of fall. You can see my collection of toad-lilies in bloom and my wildly self-sowing hardy begonias, as well as unusual ferns, hardy cyclamen, Japanese anemone, phlox in all its many colors, ornamental grasses, and many other fall beauties. I look forward to seeing you then.

Thanks, Carolyn

Deer Proof Plants

Helleborus orientalis
Helleborus orientalis

As garden lovers are sitting around their hearth dreaming of the gardens they want, many of us have to consider the deer that can decimate their plantings. To that end there is a new website listing 300 plants that seem to be deer proof. Of course, if the deer are starving, they seemingly will eat anything. This site is interactive in that they would like you to tell them if these plants really work or don’t work in your garden and yard.  Here is their website.

The list is particularly good because it tells you much about the plant besides whether it is deer proof of not. For example, it tells you the color, where to plant – full sun or not – or height of the plant. Looking at the list superficially, TheGardenLady found that those plants that they said were deer proof were consistent with her findings. For example, TheGardenLady loves her Helleborus orientalis, Lenten Rose, Polemonium caeruleum, Jacob’s Ladder, Iris (several varieties tested), Lavandula angustifolia (‘Hidcote Blue’, ‘Munstead’, ‘Tucker’s Early Purple’ ) and English Lavender. They are among all the plants on the list. These plants are especially loved by TheGardenLady because they are never touched by deer on her property. And on this list they are listed as plants Never Browsed.

TheGardenLady also loves such plants as Hemerocallis (several varieties were tested) which is the day lilly. She knows how the deer love this plant so that if she wants it in her garden, she has to over spray it with a deer repellent or put a fence around the plants. This site tells you that Hemerocallis is FREQUENTLY Browsed.  So, unless you like challenges when you create your garden, you won’t waste money buying Hemerocallis.

Check out this site which gives you other information about deer and their habits. For example, you can spray deer repellents on plants so that the deer learn to change their destructive path.