Hellebores for the bees.

At this time of year the snowdrops are the main flower in the garden, spreading nicely under all the trees and shrubs. But they are not in the garden by themselves,  forming splashes of colour amongst them are the hellebores and other early flowers. Over the years I have managed to collect quite a few, and lost a few I might add, and they certainly add their charm to the February garden. Standing proudly tall, except when it is frosty, when they then collapse onto the soil,  once the temperature rises, up they stand again with their flowers full of pollen, ready for any passing bee that might be out foraging.

Please excuse my hand holding the flowers up to be photographed, I’ll have to think of a better way to hold the flowers up while photographing them.

There are so many different colours, shapes and sizes, pointed petals, round petals, anemone centred, single , doubles etc., such a choice on offer at the garden centres and nurseries. I don’t think you can have too many hellebores as the foliage also contributes to the garden for the rest of the year.

Some, especially some of the doubles are still in tight bud, but the hellebores are bringing much needed colour to the shady parts of thegarden and they contrast so well with the snowdrops that are planted around them. There have been a few days lately when I have seen bees buzzing in the woodland, so they should have been able to find plenty of pollen to take back home with them.

Which plants do you have to welcome the bees to your garden or are you still covered in snow?

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14 Responses to Hellebores for the bees.

  1. Peter says:

    I agree that you can never have too many hellebores! If you come up with a better way to photograph their shy little faces, other than lying on the ground beneath them, do let us know. Being in a similar climate, my garden has many of the same winter blooming plants as yours but your bloom day post has encouraged me to add iris reticulata to the mix. Such beautiful little winter jewels.

    • Pauline says:

      Iris reticulata are such beautiful little flowers, usually starting to flower in January Pater. They provide a beautiful splash of colour when hardly anything else is flowering. They do like good drainage though, so I have to be careful where I plant them.

  2. Anna says:

    Oh beauties one and all Pauline. I don’t think that I’ve ever met a hellebore that I didn’t like.

  3. Julieanne says:

    Do you know the variety name for the first one? You have a lovely collection.

    I like reticulata irises for this time, and of course early crocuses. And the dainty & beautiful Hepaticas. Plus Sarcococca confusa, which the bees love & which have a divine fragrance.

    • Pauline says:

      Sorry Juleanne, it was one of my first ones bought well over 20 yrs ago, name lost in the midst of time! Yes, there are lots of lovely little plants ready for bees at the moment, I have tried Hrpaticas, but they don’t seem to like my soil.

  4. Christina says:

    You do have a wonderful collection of Hellebores, they are all gorgeous. Don’t apologise about your hand showing us the shy faces of the hellebores. One thing you could try is put a mirror under the flower then photograph the image in the mirror.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Christina, I can usually manage to persuade myself that I can squeeze another couple in each winter. I will certainly try the mirror technique next time I want to photograph them, sounds a good idea, thank you.

  5. Denise says:

    You have a beautiful collection of Hellebores Pauline! I really must try and expand my little collection as they add so much to the garden this time of year. My friend recently visited John’s Garden at Ashwood and there hellebore flowers were displayed floating in water in a very large shallow bowl, really quite stunning!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Denise, I have been adding just one or two over the years, they make such a welcome addition to the garden. I have used the bowl method to display the hellebore flowers in the past, I looked for the photograph but couldn’t find it! They all look very pretty together, showing their different markings and centres.

  6. Jason says:

    Thank goodness for the early rising flowers. In our garden I think the Crocuses are the number one early favorite for bees, followed by snowdrops.

  7. Frank says:

    They look wonderful, and each was better than the last. Keep squeezing them in is what I say!

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