What to give the great giver?

What do you take when you’re going to visit Otto Fauser – the great guru of bulbs in Australia.  This is a man in a category all of his own, of vast knowledge, and even vaster generosity.

I settled on a really weird hellebore from Post Office Farm Nursery (Otto’s not only into bulbs).  As I handed it over, I stammered out one of those really annoying, almost cowardly gift-disclaimers.  “I thought if you don’t like it, one of your visitors will, and you can give it away”.

He assured me that he did like it.  I believed him.


  1. Otto is an amazing gardener and plants person .

  2. Fabulously surreal hellebore. Better green and mauve than those rather startling primrose and cerise jobs. I’m sure he liked it. I would have.

    Cheers, Marcus

    1. You reckon Marcus? I don’t know about cerise, but I’m mad for the yellows. And the more startlingly buttercuppy the colour, the more I like them.

  3. Who wouldn’t LOVE that! BTW, do hellebores really grow well in Queensland? I am tempted to splash out on some for a shady spot on south side, but have been told we are not climatically suited ….

    1. I don’t like your chances, Julie, unless you’re in the hinterland. Not that that would stop me having a go…
      I gave one to a friend in Sydney a few weeks back – told her to treat it like cut flowers. Maybe put it outside when she’s not at home, but simply enjoy it over the winter and turf it, if necessary. Just like you’d treat a cyclamen, I suppose.

  4. I have recieved so many wonderful plants from Otto over the years!! It always gives me so much pleasure to be able to return something back to him.

  5. Speaking of hellebores. I thought I’d share this little gem. I sell hellebores here in Tasmania and beyond. I had a call yesterday from a customer re-ordering some of the plants that she had already purchased only a few weeks before. When I asked her if everything was OK she replied, “Oh fine, except they were stolen by a Tasmanian Devil”. To which I replied, the two-legged or the four legged kind? “The latter”, she said, “a female has dug a den under our house and she nicked the hellebores, which were soaking in a bucket, for nesting material.”

    I don’t know any more novel use for hellebores!

  6. Helleborus grow really very well in the in the cooler parts of Sydney. I grow them lots of Peter Leigh’s hybridus varieties.

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