Gotta Garden

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Garden Education: Barry Glick on Hellebores

Two weeks ago, I hauled myself up to Homestead Gardens in Maryland to hear Barry Glick.

(click on the picture to read and be amused)

An amazing coincidence, I actually parked next to him and said hello...although, I wasn't that time...that it was him! Arriving an hour early, I had plenty of time to shop and look around...very enjoyable way to spend an hour.

I then made my way over to the house on the corner where the nursery holds its workshops and education classes. Very comfy chairs were awaiting us. Mr. Glick spoke from the back of the room as the cord provided for the projector wouldn't allow him space to roam around. He's very entertaining and his enthusiasm for hellebores is contagious.

We were shown some of his hellebores in less than perfect condition. I sorta admired this as usually speakers will only show you everything at the peak of perfection and every bloom pristine. Maybe it was also to assure us how tough hellebores are...and they are.

Another of Mr. Glick's goals seemed to be to make hybridizers of us all as he explained with care and detail how to pollinate and collect seed. He seemed to say that if he could do it, we could do it. I don't know, though. Between his efforts and those of the Tylers (of Pine Knot Farms), they are producing some beauties...and I have enough on my hands with daylily seedlings...that I think I will leave this one up to him/them! I was surprised to learn that the major way to produce hellebores in quantity is by tissue culture...and that it is going rather unfortunately, most of those stunning ones won't be available for retail purchase for some time.

It was interesting to see the progression of his hellebores. Some of the slides were, I think he said, ten years old. It's amazing to compare some of those older ones with what he is now producing. You can really appreciate the journey and the effort that has gone into creating the fancy ones...and they are stunning.

Prior to this lecture, I don't think I actually had a hellebore from Mr. Glick growing in my garden. Fortunately, Mr. Glick brought with him trays of young hellebores which the nursery sold for around $5 (I forget exactly). At that price, you could buy several and think of them as surprise packages (to see what kind of flower you'll get). I always give hybridizers/speakers a gold star (just kidding) who bring plants!

I enjoyed his lecture/presentation. I would also recommend the Tylers, if you get a chance to hear them. We can thank these hybridizers for changing our view of hellebores and for giving us fabulous variety.


For more information, check out the book Hellebores , A Comprehensive Guide by C.Colston Burrell & Judith Knott Tyler. You can see it over on the side under What I'm Reading and Watching.


A wildlife gardener said...

That was a funny picture! I love hellebores too. We have creamy-coloured ones and wine-coloured ones out at the moment.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

That was a funny plant label. ;-)

As you know I love hellebores but mr Glick .... not so much. He kept leaving comments on my blog about his nursery whether it was apropriate or not. It felt like spam to me so I removed it.

It seems you got a great deal with those young hellebores. It'll be fun to see what colour they turn out to be.

Gotta Garden said...

Hi a wildlife gardener! I bet they're lovely! Thanks for visiting!

Hey YE: I found one, I think, from him like surprised me. If this weren't the internet and all, there's other stuff I would talk about relative to this. I tried to be positive. Well, I'll leave it at that.

The Tylers appear to be nothing like that...they are very low key, or at least their presentations...were full of wonderful detail...I truly enjoyed hearing them.

I really don't need or want any more "unknown" type hellebores, to tell the truth. I'd love to collect a few more doubles...but, they're hard to find at this point. Still, I had trouble resisting a buy...I think I'll put them under a tree in my backyard.

Thanks for coming over!

Glickster said...

Hi, THANKS for your kind words about my talk at Homestead. I remember you pulling up next to me and saying hi. I thought to myself that people are really friendly up here!

Sorry I offended YE for my posting, pass along my apolgies if you will.

Enjoy Spring, Happy Gardening,
Barry Glick

Gotta Garden said...

Hello there: I'm glad you saw it! Thanks for stopping by!

Melanie Vassallo said...

I've got a few of Barry's plants here and they took off wonderfully as soon as they were planted. Should be seeing one of his hellebores in a few weeks as soon as this darned ice thaws. Also have a nice primula from him. One of these days I have to send in another order!


Yolanda Elizabet said...

Barry, apologies accepted!

BTW I'm glad that GG enjoyed your talk about hellebores so much. It's nice when people are really enthused about something and get it across to their audience.


Yolanda Elizabet

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