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On the Down the Garden Path Podcast, landscape designer Joanne Shaw discusses down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens, and landscapes. She believes it's important and possible to have great gardens that are low maintenance.

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Apr 8, 2024

In this episode of Down the Garden Path, landscape designer Joanne Shaw discusses hellebores with returning guest Dawn Golloher from Gardens Plus.

Dawn Golloher is the owner-operator of Gardens Plus, an independent garden centre in Peterborough, Ontario, specializing in easy-care perennials. 

Here are some of the questions and topics covered in this episode:

  • Can you give us a bit of a history on hellebores?
  • There are several classifications of hellebores.
    • Helleborus niger and Helleborus orientalis are the most common.
  • Helleborus niger also called Christmas Rose.
    • Native to the mountains of southern and central Europe.
    • Christmas Rose can bloom around Christmas time in warmer regions.
    • It is an early blooming perennial for part-shade to shade conditions.
    • They have rose-like petals, some single and some double.
    • The foliage often comes up after the flowers are evergreen.
    • They are a low-maintenance, slow-growing plant and long living in your garden.
    • Because they are slow growing, they are often quite expensive.
  • Helleborus orientalis is slightly larger than Helleborus niger and is also called Lenten Rose.
    • It is native to Asia Minor, Eurasia, Greece and Turkey.
    • Also blooms late winter into spring.
    • The foliage is dark glossy green, evergreen and palmately divided.
    • They require shady to part-shade conditions, but it is important to note that they need well-drained moist soil. Not recommended for dry shade.
    • The flowers are distinctive and a lovely palette of colours is available, so it is hard to have only one in the garden.
    • Thanks to their early blooming, they do make a good pollinators.
    • They are disease-resistant, toxic to cats and dogs (so bitter tasting that they really never get eaten) and deer-resistant, as well.
  • Some of the favourites that Dawn highlighted were:
    • Ivory Prince (hardy for lower zones)
    • The Wedding Party series of double-flowering hellebores, including Blushing Bride, Confetti Cake
    • The Honeymoon series of single-petaled flowers New York Night and Carnival
  • Dawn provided some other easy-care perennial recommendations for this year.
  • How is Gardens Plus different from larger nurseries? They add a personal touch to everything that they do.
  • Gardens Plus is opening May 9th this year and will be open Thursday to Sunday until June 30th, 2024.

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Down the Garden Path Podcast

On Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designer Joanne Shaw discusses down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes. As the owner of Down2Earth Landscape Design, Joanne Shaw has been designing beautiful gardens for homeowners east of Toronto for over a decade. She does her best to bring you interesting, relevant and useful topics to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible. 

Her book Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden is available on Amazon.

Don't forget to check out Down the Garden Path on your favourite podcast app and subscribe! You can now catch the podcast on YouTube.