Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hellebores Galore and other shade loving plants

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! We watched rapid moving clouds past by the nearly full moon fo a little while hoping to see a witch fly by.

Yesterday we visited Hillsborough, NC and a friend of ours allowed us to thin some of the garden where she stays. This is a very established garden loaded with all kind of shade loving plants. We filled the back of our little Scion EB.

As you can see we dug up 12 hellebores of which she says they are whites, pinks and red mostly. I replaced the scented Ginger Lilly I lost in our huge renovation. We also got several columbines, two big chunks of Solomon's Seal that the fall had turned orange. There is also this very cool stripy arrowroot. There was also a pink turtlehead and a peony. My favorite is the Cyclamen, managed to get 2 plants of it.

It gets even better they came over and helped us plant the new plants on a very gray day and all found places in our garden.

I also borrowed a book about a local Hillsborough garden called "Montrose Life in a Garden" by Nancy Goodwin. Goodwin ran a local nursery in the mid 70s up to the mid 80s and she was very much into hellebores and cyclamens. I'd be willing to bet a lot of these plants came from Montrose. The book is a good read that takes you into the garden starting in January and ends in December, I'm into April already!

While gathering compost Meg found this Brown Snake, Storeria dekayi curled up on a hickory leaf next to the compost bin. These tiny harmless snakes eat slugs you have to love them! Brown Snakes rarely get bigger than 15 inches all the ones we have found here have been less than a foot long. While planting the new columbines Meg also found a Worm Snake another tiny slug eater yeah!


Janet said...

Your friend was most generous with all those great plants!! Once we move we will have lots of shade so I am excited about many of the plants you got this weekend! Never had Hellebores before, nor Solomon's Seal, nor Turtlehead or Arrowroot. What a great haul!
That little Brown Snake is interesting...almost matches the Hickory leaf.

Ginger said...

Thanks for the information about the snake - always good to know the helpful ones. Neat picture.

Also, what great friends you have! Wow!

Ali Iyoob said...

Love the brown snake-found my first one a few weeks ago.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I give lots of plants away, but most of the plants my friends have to give away are either invasive or I already have them. I was thinking in the future, I may need to find more people to do some trades with. I want to learn to live on less income and start working fewer hours in a few years.

I just discovered hellebores in the yard where my sister recently moved to. She didn't have enough to share, but this spring and summer, I managed to find several kinds of them. They didn't grow a lot this summer, but now, new stems are coming up. I read somewhere that there will be blooms on these new stems. I am so excited!

You sure got a great haul! That's a good looking snake. When my parents lived in Arkansas, they were surrounded by some woods, and our son used to go look for critters. He was excited to see some worm snakes, or were they milk snakes? I can't remember, but somewhere along the line, I remember him finding some worm snakes.

I just am glad we aren't the only ones who respect snakes and don't kill them when we see them.

sweet bay said...

That's a lot of plants! They look great. I've always wanted to go to Montrose. I've heard it's only open at certain times of the year.

Shady Gardener said...

Randy and Meg, Aren't you so fortunate as to have friends that have such wonderful plants to share?? Of course, when yours get overgrown, I know a garden in Iowa.... lol. Have a wonderful Fall! (Love those cute snakes. Have you ever heard of a smooth green snake? They're very small. We found one when my son was young. We kept it for about a week and let it go. Supposedly they "languish in captivity.")

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Those plants would be a good addition to any garden! I just planted several cyclamens, for the first time. Solomon's Seal is on my list. The only thing I wouldn't like is a snaky.

Randy Emmitt said...


You'll love your new place. I have a deck[porch job we are starting soon in Chapel Hill she'll give me all kinds of hellebores and other plants too.

If you ever have questions about snake just ask me.

Good find as these tiny snakes are easily missed until this year I'd not seen any in 5 years or more.

Most likely it was a worm snake they like dirt piles and stay under logs and stuff usually easy to find.

Aremont is next door to Montrose I've been there a lot, will plan on going there this coming year.

Yes I have heard of Smooth Green snakes I have found them here in the garden once or twice. When I was on the Eastern Shore of VA I found at least one a week, yes they are very tame.

Town Mouse said...

What fun! I hope the hellebores settle well. They're supposedly hard to transplant, but I've found they do all right after a bit of sulking.


Daricia said...

i have found the same thing with the transplanting hellebores as town mouse. randy, you have a really nice blog. i'm going to enjoy looking around. thanks for stopping by mine.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a great group of plants. It's going to look great when they all bloom. Most of my hellebores bloom in the winter, something I always look forward to seeing.

Randy Emmitt said...


Tiny snakes are good to have in the garden.

Town Mouse and Dariciam

We had a huge hellebore given to us cramped into a 3 gallon pot in May, about a month ago I it was finally planted. It was mostly neglected in the pot, yet it had lots of new growth when we planted it. The one plant we bought at the nursery on sale because it looked awful did die, $5 wasted.

I'm excited to see what blooms where. It was all a guessing game.

Di said...

No matter how often I stumble upon one of our garden snakes, they still surprise me... but they are harmless.

Randy, wanted to let you know I gave you an Honest Scrap Award on my blog, and would like to have you participate, but understand if you cannot for I'm sure you guys are very busy. James did it to me, so I'm playing it forward. ;)

Kanak Hagjer said...

Randy...that's quite a haul! Your friend is very generous! I wouldn't know the difference between harmless/not harmless snakes. But you got a great shot!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Please send me those snakes. gardeners friends indeed.

It'll be no time at all before the Hellebores bloom.

Garden Girl said...

Hellebores are wonderful, but can become quite prolific so watch out! It's great to have friends to give you plants, I just sent a bunch of ginger lilies on to a new home, they are one of my favorites but do multiply quickly.

Funny thing- I went to a halloween party and there on the table, pomegranate and spiced pears! delish. I'll check out the fickle creek eggs if I can find them- Hillsborough farmers market I'm thinking...