Helibores & Roses



Remember when I said one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to learn something new every day?

Today (& tonight) I learned how to watermark my photos.

Dear God in heaven. If it had taken me any longer my watermark was going to be a”F$%^&*%#U”

You might notice that the watermarks vary in size…it’s still a work in progress

Suffice it to say that I’m now the proud owner of over 2,000 original photos with the word “SAMPLE” watermarked  in big white letters in the centre of them (I went downstairs for dinner and the program decided to watermark my entire file 🙁  A beautiful example of Murphy’s Law as never has my computer done anything that fast) and excuse moi for assuming that “SAMPLE” actually meant “sample

annnywaay.  Deeeep breath….


As you can see I spent the morning doing something a little more relaxing …




Alas, despite our insanely gorgeous weather lately, the rose bushes had to be cut back so these are just from Von’s but the Helibores are from my garden (you know I have to do at least one Helibore post a year!)



When I was finished I gathered all my arrangements and  put them in the light of the dining room.


Quite honestly, you’d swear it was Spring in Santa Barbara right now.



Helibores are also known as “The Christmas Rose” due to their blooming in late December thru January.



They come in all sorts of different styles and colours ranging from white to a deep burgundy.

Some are quite frilly, others are Plane Janes like the one above, but I think they’re all beautiful.







Helibores have a tendency to hang their heads and slouch so it’s a good idea to pair them with flowers with better posture.



Naturally I thought of this Prada necklace as I was compiling

I’m so good at multi-tasking…

But now, I’m ready for bed. Excuse me if there are any mistakes in this post

My eyes are stinging like the tails of a thousand scorpions (I’m also a little dramatic)


How was your day?!


Oh, and P.S. If you’re signing up for email subscriptions, following Slim Paley on Facebook or Twitter, or even just leaving a comment, I’d love to know Where in The World YOU are!

WordPress used to provide this feature in their analytics but I guess that was too much fun for us bloggers so they stopped.

It’s the Discontinued Favourite Lipstick Syndrome

Global party over 🙁




  1. Slim, SO share your passion for Helibores. I always enjoy seeing your garden flowers because you are a month or so ahead of Seattle, so it is always a vision of things to come. Bravo on the watermark. I can’t find a spot to send you a personal message, I have some info to share….

  2. I’m from Holland and I just love reading your posts and status on fb. You’re so funny and inspiring. I’m so happy with the lesson above and just looking at these flowers starts my morning beautifully. xx

  3. That’s it, I am finally getting out of my jammies and heading to the market RIGHT NOW to go buy some flowers. No garden for me, alas, here in the center of Arles, right next to the Place du Forum but glorious Provençal winter light and blue, blue skies.

    Bon WE Slim!

  4. I always love your photos Slim. Your photography is superb, especially your travel photography. I don’t bother watermarking my images. I just post small photos so the less ethical bloggers are deterred from swiping them! So strange to hear about winter there when we’re going through a heatwave here in Melbourne, Australia, (95F) and all the flowers are falling to the ground in horticultural pain. May I ask: Do you do your own gardening? Or do you have a gardener – a la Lady Chatterley? Janelle McCulloch

    • Thanks Janelle
      Hardly as romantic as Lady Chatterley, but I do have a wonderful gardener!
      Tractor lawnmowers were never my forte’ 🙂

  5. OH MY! YOU are a breath of fresh air! Even though I don’t have flowers like that here, Reynolds Plantation (near Atlanta) has a lot of golf courses (which I WILL be hacking away on) today. You need to visit!!! Great spa at the Ritz here!
    Weather is a mild 60 ish degrees and I will bring a blanket and embarrass “W” while golfing.
    What a beautiful post!

  6. just thought you’d like to know, viewing your gorgoues posts in tel-aviv.
    always a pleasure for sore eyes 🙂

  7. Your arrangement is divine! I just found a new hellebore (to me) at WHole FOods! Called HGC CInnamon Snow (from the helleborus gold collection) the blossoms actually look up, which as you mentioned is not characteristic, but oh so nice for an arrangement!

    • Thanks so much Jayne- I’m going to look for it.

      Yes, the watermark application I used is called “Visual Watermark” – just type it into Google.
      It says “Learn in 1 minute”

      I don’t know what that says about me, but it can’t be good…

  8. I also love Hellebores. In my garden in NY I had many varieties, some Lenten Roses and some Christmas Roses, so I had blooms for many months. Alas, I cannot grow Hellebores (correct spelling, by the way) in SW Florida. I also cannot grow peonies — another favorite. It results in far less interesting flower arrangements, but the weather is delightful.

    Have a lovely weekend, Slim.

    All the best,

    • Peonies are also a huge favourite of mine but they are one of the few flowers we cannot grow here in Southern California.
      I do grow them in Idaho though and when they bloom I get ridiculously excited.

  9. There’s nothing blooming outside here in Boston at the moment. Let me know if you’re aware of a flower that will bloom in weather that ranges from 0 to 50 in January! I saw ranunculus at Trader Joe’s last Monday and I just had to buy some to brighten up my counter. Your flowers are absolutely amazing and your talent for arranging them is beyond gifted! Thank you for sharing them with us. Have a good weekend.

  10. Recently, Virginia is the new Florida! We’re in the high 60’s and I’ve got camillias blooming. Poor dears…they are as confused as I am (some of the time.) Now…to make me “feel even better” YOU must get an illustrated (photography) book “of beauty” in the works. Chop, chop..off you go…franki

  11. Slim your flowers are so gorgeous! Just seeing your header brightened my day.

    It does NOT feel like spring here in Kansas City. This is when I miss my years in San Diego!

    Do you mind sending the link to the watermark tutorial? Something else I need to learn!

    Art by Karena

  12. Here in Connecticut, my single helibore blooms in April or so. It was one of the flowers I couldn’t wait to plant in my new condo garden. I’m anxiously watching it over its first winter. Thanks for the watermark work and beautiful photos.

  13. Another lovely post. I always look forward to your beautiful pictures and humorous words.
    20 below!!!! I was moaning about it getting down to 38 here in SF Bay Area! Boots gloves and some really luxurious woolen undies. I’m such a wuss.
    SF Bay Area

  14. Hi Slim,
    Your hellebores are gorgeous! Here in Boston, mine are budding with possibilities. Thanks for sharing the tip of displaying them with another stiffer flower to prop them up. Kind of like having a good friend in tough times…
    Happy Saturday,

  15. you have the most amazing photos of flowers ….Only a true flower lover can capture their essence and you most certainly have…..the colors touch my soul!!!! Thank you for the beauty you bring this world…..

  16. Slim, I found out about in you in the Chicago Tribune last summer and have been a fan since. I have passed your blog on to many around Chicago and the Midwest. Love your sense of fashion, color, design, but especially your sense of humor! Thanks for making us smile so often.

  17. Love viewing your photos of gorgeous freckled Helibores and ruffled Roses from St. Louis
    where we didn’t wake up to the snow they predicted last night. A fan of your talent and wit.

  18. Following you from Seattle and loving each post. My hellebores survived the four days of snow we had. Keep up the great work. I truly look forward to it.

  19. Slim, I too had to cut the roses, now the prepping
    for the spring. BUT my plants are all mixed up they are acting almost spring like..
    your arrangements are so beautiful.
    just down the road from you……. Roxie

  20. Thanks for the gorgeous photos of the helibores and roses. You really capture the essence of the flowers. Here in Greenwich, Connecticut, my helibores are still looking like squashed, “left in the fridge too long” lettuces….. A few more weeks until we get some blooms starting to show on in the northeast. As for my roses, we are talking months until they show their pretty faces. The little heads of my snowdrops are coming up and I will keep looking at your photos to get inspired that spring is coming!

  21. At first glance I read the title of your blog as “Herbivores and Roses”. Coffee has been had and glasses have been put on…… I love the new watermark and your gorgeous pictures. Happy to say I represent as one of your Santa Barbara readers 😉

  22. The Texas Gulf Coast, Clear Lake Shores. And I absolutely love your blog. Everything about it is a treat.

  23. Watermarking? You are definitely fancy shmancy! Love the font. It looks soooo pretty. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do it as well. May take a year or two or three to figure out.
    You know where to find me. 🙂

  24. Following your wonderful posts between Toronto and Charleston (SC). And yes, enquiring minds want to know, how to begin watermarking one’s photos? Seems I spend more time trying to keep up with technology than with simple pleasures, like a garden. Yours is sumptuous! What on earth will you do when you sell your home?

  25. Hi Slim, south of you here in Carlsbad, the weather has been schizophrenic. Rain boots, sweaters, coats, umbrellas, and a funeral 🙁 on Monday, followed by that high pressure with heat, shorts, and the beach (just in time for semester break – after we finish filing our FAFSA stuff for colleges for our senior). My nose isn’t liking the weather changes, but the plants are!

  26. I’m a new reader, subscribe on e-mail.. transplanted from Westchester County in New York to Central California. Trying to learn what grows here, very HOT summers… right now I have irises blooming, afew roses still, and camillias are just beginning to pop.
    Love your flower arrangements, very artistic and colours are fabulous.
    I wonder if I can grow hellebores here? I love them..
    Thank you!

  27. gorgeous gorgeous post. Made me smile!!!! I so look forward to seeing your name and knowing I have a treat in store for me. Your HEADER was out of this world
    Porter Ranch, Northridge, So. Calif. Windy like you cant believe. 50-70 MPH gusts.
    and 90 degrees. I guess no winter this year. WEIRD!!!!!
    Happy Day!

  28. Wonderful images + Watermarking I am duly impressed-adore your sense of humor. Hello from LA, CA where the weather is perfect(a little confused)but perfect. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  29. Hi, Slim,
    I am in Washington, DC and we have had a mild winter too. Hellebores and peonies are my two favorite flowers! Loved seeing the different varieties from your garden which must be so beautiful!! Thanks too for the inspired addition of the gorgeous Prada necklace. Wow! Love your blog and your photos but mostly your sense of humor. Congrats on your US citizenship. Our country is richer for your addition to our ranks!!

  30. Lovely post, Slim. Since moving to Scottsdale from Kentucky, I’ve had to adapt to Southwest landscape and plant life. I understand roses do very well here and your beautiful photography is inspiring me to attempt! Your posts brighten my days and make me laugh!

  31. I’ve also been playing with text on photos recently…very frustrating! It’s the learning curve though, right? It WILL get easier and not be so intimidating. I hang my head in shame at your gardening skills…I’ve never got over the hump of THAT learning curve. And down south of you, here in Temecula, it’s so bone-dry and hot for much of the year, it’s a losing battle.

  32. What lovely pictures and how I wish I was in your neck of woods, it’s hailing here and very cold. Spring can’t come early enough for me. Lucky you living amongst all those colorful blooms.

  33. Just like spring here in Vancouver too 😉 LOVE the shots but would rather see them blooms in person! Amazing to see you have quite the following now…Good work!

  34. Your photos of flowers are remarkable & watermarkable:)
    You could most definitely make a beautiful coffee table book with them! Really!

  35. Soooo gorgeous! Your flowers make me dream of Springtime…I’ve never heard of watermarking a photo. I’m learning something new. Thanks Slim. BTW I’m in Vancouver B.C. so it’s rainy, grey and cool here right now. But when the sun shines it keeps us all from jumping off the Lion’s Gate.

  36. Gorgeous! I just learned to watermark my photos, too. In IPhoto. Easy (once get the hang of it!) Could have read instructions first…but then…where’s the adventure in that?

    Where do I live…Carmel-by-the-Sea….awaiting a call from my son who has lived in Europe half of his life. I’ve polished my cell phone, and put it on my son altar. Where it’s …..not ringing…yet. And, still not ringing. 😉

    Thanks for the beautiful post!

  37. Oh these are sooo gorgeous! The only flowers here in New York are the ones we buy, unfortunately. I am determined to do some lovely flowers in the spring along the white picket fence that borders our neighbors. I am a horticultural serial killer, but I do a bit better with the outdoor variety of planting.

  38. South of Houston, just down the street from NASA.

    I love those arrangements!

    Also I’d like to learn to watermark too!

  39. Hellebores are one of the things I miss most about the beautiful Pacific Northwest (my home.) However, I am now living in sunny 70 degree Tucson which is not at all bad for January.

  40. We are also having an early spring here in Austin, Tx (after which time we will jump right into “hot as hades” for most of the year.) Your flowers and the arrangements are as lovely as everything you put your mark on. Speaking of mark, even your watermark is pretty! Great job, and as always, thanks for sharing your enchanted life! : )

  41. My hellebores can never hold their heads up in a vase so I usually leave them in situ. Yours are divine.

    As you know I am from Melbourne, Australia but currently driving up the Hume Highway on a 7 hour car trip to Canberra for a quick 3 day holiday. It’s hot, dry, and dusty outside.

    ( I should clarify I an not driving AND reading blogs!)

  42. Hi Slim, your floral arrangements are so romantic! I’m also from Melbourne Australia. It is 100 degrees and I am inside trying to keep cool!

    Love seeing your beautiful home and garden in your posts.

  43. Slim, Lovely photos and flowers as always. We have also been having amazing weather up here in the Bay Area. Was just out pruning my roses back, and am tempted to plant, but I know it’s too early. Feels like Spring though. I am definitely getting Hellebores for my yard after seeing yours.

    Enjoy your weekend! Kim:)

  44. Hi Slim, Expat Tsawwassenite writing from the sea, mountain and forest cradled city of Victoria on Southern Vancouver Island.

  45. Love the addition of your watermark,kind of makes it more personal.
    I know now that were I a flower I would be a hellebore. It’s about my slouch. Please place me with a couple of sturdy stems to improve my posture. Out and about all day which was stunning, sunny and hot in beautiful S B. Really looking forward to all the beautiful flowers to come xo

  46. Well, we got another ~1″ of snow overnight here in the Chicago area so it was
    really, really nice to see the photos of your beautiful flowers. It’s getting really
    depressing around here….grey skies and cold winds.

  47. Hi SP!

    How are you? I’ve thinking about you and your blog (did you get my email?) but I’m always “running” against time lately.

    Oh, this is such an eye-candy! So lovely… I simply smiled throughout this entire post.

    I hope you’re having a great weekend!

    Missing you around the blog!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  48. Cold but sunny here in Caldwell Idaho! Love your flower photos (well ALL your photos) and it added a breath of Spring to my day! Thanks…….besides which you are wickedly funny!!

  49. Although warm for this time of year in Boulder, Colorado…at least we do not have budding blooms. That is worrisome. The is definitely snow on the peaks but I often wish there was an ocean view as well. I take comfort in your lovely photos and know it won’t be long.

  50. The Santa Ana winds in LA have made for clear skies and gorgeous sunsets. A tree fell down on Sunset blvd today. Love hearing where everyone is from.

  51. I am reading your blog in Melbourne Australia, and I see there are a couple of other Melbourne based commenters on here – Hello Elodie and Jane! It’s sizzling hot here at the moment, but hellebores grow well here in the shade, and will flower in our winter. This of course makes the name Christmas rose completely wrong.

  52. Hi……a newer follower here, and I am from NY. I am so impressed with your watermark talents! I have been wanting to learn how to do this and figured it daunting or time consuming or both and its kept me away……any suggestions or a specific site or program you might recommend?
    Second, your flowers are stunning, spring like weather in Santa Barbara sounds DEVINE!

  53. Hello-

    Loved this beautiful post! I am in San Diego, and i agree it really does feel like spring around here. Although I am enjoying the beautiful days, I do hope we get a little more rain.

  54. Thank you. It’s so much fun to hear where everyone is checking in from-
    Global Party Back On !

    Re the Watermarking; I used a program called Visual Watermark. Here is the link;


    If in fact you are able to figure it out in 1 minute like they profess, please don’t tell me.

    Re growing Helibores (or Hellibores) They grow in the SHADE and are not inexpensive to buy but they divide beautifully and just keep coming back year after year.

  55. Beautiful British Columbia… which is dark, grey, windy and rainy right now, not at all beautiful.

    Fun to see where all your readers are from!

  56. Here in Houston, TX, we call our hellebores (when we can find them) “Lenten Roses,” except for a friend’s mother who calls them “Hell’s Bells!” I nursed 2 of them through our drought this summer and am hoping for the best this spring. Yours are beautiful, as is your arrangement.

  57. Hey Slim,
    I knew there was a reason I’ve not advanced my photography skills any more than I have, I don’t NEED to watermark any of my photos! LOL.

    I always enjoy seeing flowers from your garden. I’ll have to plant more helebores since the only few that I have are white…it would be fun to have additional colors in the garden.

    Irvine, California (where’s our winter?)

  58. Congrats on the watermark ! I’m enjoying your divine floral spring….and am one of your happy readers via email subscription from Andalusia – southern Spain

  59. Oh, slim, it’s not too often I seriously laugh out loud so hard that my child in the next room asks, “What?!” but your slice of life OFTEN does that for me! The whole family knows who Slim Paley is. That Murphy’s Law comment had me laughing so hard b/c isn’t that the truth!! I’m in Santa Barbara too and love your flowers! Very inspiring! Celebrating 3 years of life post-transplant and have been addicted to beauty ever since!

  60. My God, you made me really laugh!!!!! I do things like 200 samples all the time and keep myself entertained! Lots of laughter at myself. Am in San Diego and feel truly blessed.
    You are a kick! much love to you “Slim”,

  61. Winter seems to have passed by the D.C. area too. No complaints, though!
    Gorgeous hellebores, Slim.
    I’ve resisted using a watermark until now, but will probably have to give it a try.

  62. Simply gorgeous … all of your photos. I especially loved the one of the Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka Martini and the accompanying arrest story. If only it wasn’t so warm here in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA I’d make one. Not an arrest, Silly. A fluffy martini! Keep bringing so much beauty into the world. You are fabulous at it!

  63. I am so jealous of your climate there. I follow you from Dallas and even when we are not in a drought, so many flowers cannot survive the heat. Usually by mid-July, even with plenty of water they lay down and give up. I have visited Santa Barbara many times over the years and it is so lovely. I will enjoy some of these through your pictures.

  64. Here in State College, PA we appreciate the visual flowers while mourning our beloved Joe Paterno and the enduring sadness of recent months. I have used your photos before as screensavers (just for me!….wisteria…orange blossoms…sunflowers. ALWAYS knew where I got the images.

  65. Beautiful! And thank you for the info on hellebores — I have always wondered about them but it seems that I am too lazy to investigate on my own.

    Have I mentioned that your blog regularly makes me want to leave NYC for Santa Barbara? It does.

  66. Love your blog and your comments. I’ve always enjoyed the time that I’ve spent in the Santa Barbara area and love that you have taken advantage of the lovely flower-growing weather. I currently reside in Elmhurst, IL…a near west suburb of Chicago, where spring may actually occur. At some point. Keep up the great work!!

  67. Dang!- You have already cut your roses back?! I traditionally cut them back every Super Bowl Sunday, sadly I am down to 85 or so due to the evil, devil ,demonic, little bleeping gophers…so frustrated and so sad 🙁 i want to hook up a hose to my husbands truck exhaust and gas them all…..I really, really want to do that….they also managed to destroy 2 of the 3 dwarf bears limes amongst the roses, I am banging the keys on the keyboard as I type this …I am an animal lover truly, but they are destructive, beastly, varmints…and right now I am so mad about the rose garden destruction, I don’t know where I am……….watermark?

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