Friday, August 9, 2013

I need some help

I have a question. Two, actually. They're not related.

If you think you can help a fellow gardener out, please leave a comment below.

1) What are some good companies from which to order perennials and/or bulbs? I am looking to expand my portfolio beyond Bluestone and White Flower Farms. There are some plants I want that my local nursery doesn't always have, and I am also interested in planting a whole lotta bulbs this fall and don't want to break the bank.

2) I'm brand new to hellebores but have recently purchased two to try to bring some joy into my life when it's February and gloomy out. The tags say things like "part sun to shade" or "part shade to shade". In the winter here it's never sunny. It's bright, but there is total cloud cover almost all day, every day, creating a depressing gray sky for months. Would that count as something along the lines of part-sun, or should I make sure my hellebores are in among the shadows cast by my fence?

If you have any suggestions, I'd appreciate them!


  1. Here are my two cents. I like John Scheepers Bulbs. They have a great selection, are high quality, and cheaper than White Flower Farm. Others swear by Brent and Becky's Bulbs but I've never actually ordered from them.
    Re the Hellebores - I think you would need to put them in part shade, since they'll need that cover once the leaves fill in and the Northeastern winter gray disappears. Although they are more sun tolerant than you might think.

  2. I'm not sure about ordering bulbs, but I do know a few things about hellebores. :)

    I'm in Southeast TN, and my mom has grown them for 25 years. They really do best when planted in true shade. They will survive with some sun, but really thrive in the shade. Some of the best performers at my mom's house were some extras that were tossed into the woods after being divided.

    The good thing about hellebores is that they multiply, so you can start them in true shade, and divide them later if you want to try them in a sunnier spot!

  3. Sarah - Thank you for the bulb company ideas! I've requested a catalog from John Scheepers.

    Emily Rose - Thank you for the hellebores information. I'm doing a bit of an experiment (with a $20 plant, so karma is probably dooming me to fail already) by putting one in the shade of my problem viburnum. That way it does get a good chunk of shade most of the day.

  4. I use Lazy S's Farms Nursery every spring and fall. They're located in VA so the plants won't take long to reach you. I also use Niche Gardens and Plant Delights in NC. White Flower Farms is massively overpriced. I've also heard good things about Gardens in the Wood at Grassy Creek. Since you live in Philly, you could visit Carolyn's Shade Gardens for expert info. I think hellebores need serious shade. At least mine do. :o)

    1. Some more great information - thank you! I've heard about Carolyn's Shade Gardens and may pay her a visit.