Sunday, March 18, 2007

Helleborus - Lenten Rose

Royal Heritage. Spring has had a bit of a set back with a late winter storm last Friday. So what is a gardener to do after direct-sow seeds are ordered, the plan for this year's garden is finalized, and the cuttings are growing?

It would be nice to be outside staring at the purple flowers of the hellebore but they are covered with snow. So, I'm doing the next best thing - staring at a picture of last year's bloom.

I bought this plant in 2002. It is one of the most carefree plants in my garden. I don't cut it back in fall. The leaves are green all winter - any green is a treat amid the brown of winter. In late February/early March as flowers start to appear, I do a snip here and a snip there of the old leaves. And reveal a lovely bunch of purple flowers and new leaves.

It is planted along a path in the garden that is shaded from the afternoon sun. It is in a well-drained area that was once mostly clay. The soil, over the years, has been ammended with mulch and not much else.

If the weather forcast holds true, I'll be staring at the real thing by the end of the week.

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