Friday, March 9, 2012

Tender Tiger?

This Spring, just as it did this time last year, Helleborus 'Jade Tiger' has come bolting out of the ground only to have it's tender new shoots blackened by sudden sub-zero weather.
I was beginning to wonder if this precocious behaviour was the result of the genes passed down by one of its parents that would typically be accustomed to a milder climate. I often see the same thing happen with H. foetidus, which can have it's flowers fall foul of Spring frosts but otherwise be completely hardy in my zone 6 garden.
I put this question to Mr. Ernie O'Byrne of /www.northwestgardennursery.com/, who kindly responded with the information that 'Jade Tiger' had been developed by breeding H. torquatus with a large double green hellebore and that I'd probably had a couple of years of bad luck with this particular plant.
As it happens I've been able to protect "Jade Tiger' from further damage by covering it at night (see post for Wed. 7th March), and perhaps this cosseting has only added to its early development.

H. "Jade Tiger' as it looked this morning.


A closer look at "JadeTiger'.

5 comments:

Barry said...

Barry:
I was curious to the earlier post with the cloche covering something that looked tender! Now I know it was JT. I too love the 'Winter Jewel' series and was wondering the same about JT as mine seemed to bloom only in the Fall for the past two years! It is a most striking plant though, is it not! A few tender hearted babes in the garden is the sign of a well balanced gardener is it not?

Barry Parker said...

Hi Barry,

Interesting to hear about the Fall blooming of JT. Maybe it's not tender at all but pining for it's Pacific Northwest homeland?

Angel said...

Barry, is your jade tiger in your front yard? I'd love to walk by and see it if it is. I understand you are in the west end of Toronto? I'm on Windermere Avenue in Swansea (#176)and have been an avid gardener for many years (but just recently learned about Toronto garden blogs)

Barry Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Parker said...

Hi Angel,
Thanks for checking out my blog and for your comment.
'Jade Tiger' is in my back garden, but I'd be glad to show it to you if you email ahead of time at:
barry.parker@sympatico.ca