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hellebores

March 21, 2011

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hi.
it’s a new week, and the 2nd day of spring.  and so i’m sharing a photoshoot with my new green plant.  

i really don’t know what got into me but i was at the market last weekend buying some eggs and veg when i walked by the flower stall on my way home and saw this plant. i love houseplants – i dream of living in a place with lots of green plants and succulents hanging around … nothing fancy, just simple plants in reclaimed or recycled pots, perched on windowsills and side tables.  unfortunately, i have a horrible way with plants. i honestly don’t know what i do (or don’t do), but they die under my care. friends tell me i water too much, others say i water too little, and everyone is astounded by how i can kill a succulent in 2 month’s time by doing absolutely nothing at all. when i moved to london, the few plants i had in brooklyn went to live with my mom & dad, and they are flourishing there (and thanking their lucky stars that i moved away). in london, i’ve hesitated to buy many plants because of my previous track record, but also because i can’t move them back to the US with me when i go.  although, i often think it’d be nice to leave a few well-loved plants with friends here – like a parting gift.

anyway. last weekend i bought this small hellebores for 2 quid just because i liked the way it looked.  it’s a perennial, not a houseplant, so i might donate it to my gardening neighbor soon for his garden. or perhaps i’ll put it in a bigger pot and leave it on my stoop in hopes that i can keep it alive long enough to give it to a friend someday soon.

as you can probably imagine (based on this inordinately long & rambling post about green plants), vintage plant is one of my all-time favorite websites to browse.

21 Comments
  1. kate permalink
    March 21, 2011 6:13 pm

    my plants always do best when i get too busy to worry about them. there’s a life lesson somewhere in there, i think :) miss you!

  2. March 21, 2011 6:19 pm

    I love plants too, and yours is lovely. I’m willing to live in one of those houses from ikea with houseplants popping out from everywhere! That would be heaven.
    <3

  3. March 21, 2011 6:20 pm

    I love plants too, and yours is lovely! I’m willing to live in one of those houses from ikea with houseplants popping out from everywhere. That would be heaven!

  4. Ale permalink
    March 21, 2011 6:38 pm

    Nice! Hope won’t rest like others!

  5. March 21, 2011 6:53 pm

    oh, what a super link to plant stories :) thankyou!

  6. March 21, 2011 6:53 pm

    I love house plants too. Unfortunately, so does my cat. He gnaws at the leaves until they wilt in submission. A lovely bamboo I had for years… destroyed. Although there are skeletons of 2 plants hanging on by a thread that I refuse to give up on.

  7. March 21, 2011 7:07 pm

    you’re a brilliant photographer. I love it!

  8. March 21, 2011 9:36 pm

    nathan and i are exactly the same way. i’m about to try my hand at an air plant. we’ll see : )

  9. March 22, 2011 12:10 am

    Ah, I know too well the baffling experience of nurturing houseplants. Good on you for giving them another shot and a lovely choice of plant too. You’ve inspired me to try again!

  10. March 22, 2011 12:20 am

    lovely!

  11. March 22, 2011 12:31 am

    Hellebores have such beautiful flowers that are so very delicate.. But even if your dear green plant never blooms, it will entertain you with those great leaves. I think you’ll be able to keep this one alive and kicking, as it were.

  12. anne permalink
    March 22, 2011 1:01 am

    brian,

    what wonderful timing! i’m training to become a master gardener and one of my instructors brought a tray of hellebore flowers in to class last week… they were stunning. they come in all colors, but there was one dark navy flower that was particularly striking. i couldn’t help but think they would make the most incredible photograph, arrayed on a shallow black dish as they were.

    i very much hope you get to see yours bloom!

  13. March 22, 2011 2:43 am

    Ah I too am cursed with this condition. I currently stick to hardy herbs that I can pick from and that seem to withstand my loving looks that are not accompanied by the appropriate green thumb care. Family history tells me this condition will subside as I get older and that I will one day have plants under my care that will flourish. I’m thinking positive.

  14. March 22, 2011 4:54 am

    ahh the best quote i’ve ever heard from someone i considered a well seasoned gardener was “even the best of gardeners end up killing something….” i don’t know if people have told you this before but generally i stick to the half inch/inch of dryness before i water plants (stick your finger in, if it’s dry at the halfway mark it’s probably ready to be watered). succulents can actually go until their soil dries out completely. and water from the bottom helps prevent root rot. one thing i never realized too is that during the winter months plants go into hibernation and generally don’t need to be watered as much as during the warmer months. i like your plant photoshoot!! plants are so great, i had about 50 various succulents/aguaves/house plants when i lived in san francisco but now i’m in dc and our apartment hardly gets any good light :(

  15. March 22, 2011 7:27 am

    haha, what a funny reference!
    i have several plants at home, and while i’m having an affair with my christmas plant, i can’t understand all the other ones… uhmmm.

  16. March 22, 2011 11:04 am

    vintage plant = win

  17. March 22, 2011 5:32 pm

    Hi, Just stumbled across your blog via corkgrips. Hellebores are lovely plants which unfortunately will never thrive in pots. The main issue is that they have deep extensive root systems, ideally in rich, well drained soil. They have exquisite flowers that unfortunately bow there heads, so not doing themselves justice. Some people cut the flowers and float them (face up)in shallow dishes of water. They can take 4 or 5 years to flower from seed, but when happy will colonize large areas. They are very promiscuous and hybridise with abandon. Once they start to grow new leaves in late winter, it’s a good idea to cut the old ones off completely to stop the spread of any diseases, which always feels rather cruel but within a couple of weeks you have all the lovely fresh green growth. Good luck with them, they’re a great pick me up in the final throws of winter.

  18. LamBert permalink
    March 23, 2011 1:08 pm

    Just paid my weekly visit with tea and toast. Your blog relaxes me, man. Thanks.

  19. March 23, 2011 2:20 pm

    Thanks for the link.

  20. Kim Irene permalink
    March 25, 2011 12:32 pm

    I adore my hellebores. Simon is right on and I’m glad I don’t have to be the first to say that you will need to give this to someone to plant in their garden. BUT, I think it would last in the pot until you decide who gets this special gift. They will always think of you when they tend it. Beautiful blog…

  21. March 27, 2011 1:48 am

    I too love house plants and I too kill them. I get in fits though and go on a buying spree at the garden store. I’m currently on one of those waves right now. I’ve already lost one, but I’m determined to keep the rest of them alive. They make the house feel alive.

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