Gardener's Grapevine 2013.02.27

Written by David Green.

This past week I’ve had spring on my mind. Spring is my favorite season. I seem to get a burst of energy in the spring that I don’t have any other time of the year. I guess I like the idea of what could be.

I love a flower called a Hellebore. It is also called the lenton rose. Its name comes from the fact that it is one of the earliest blooming perennials; often appearing before crocuses. Depending on the zone, they bloom as early as December and can continue well into April.

They come in white, green, pink and burgundy. Many have a variegated leaf, and with the dullness of winter bring a much needed pop of color and renewed life. They are evergreen and deer resistant, but not urine-resistant which will kill them rapidly as with most plants. Keep dogs and cats away from them.

They are a European flower that has been slow to catch on here in the states. They are also a bit on the pricey side, but well worth the money and time. Usually you will not find hellebores in your common garden centers. They are available at upscale garden centers and by mail. I have just ordered two new varieties.

I used to have a nice three foot by three foot patch that I cultivated from a three-inch pot. It was the first to bloom in the spring and I left out the best part—they smell heavenly. Sadly, my little garden met an unfortunate end, so I want to start over and see if I can regain what I lost.

If you like plants that are a bit unusual and not what everyone has, this might be for you.

I love to scope out the garden supply websites. You find some of the most unusual plants and also a great variety of garden tools that are not available locally. A personal favorite of on-line nurseries is Spring Hill. They offer $25 off your first order if you sign up for e–mails and they offer a wide variety of plants at very reasonable prices.

Our year is moving closer to spring and it’s time to be thinking about sprucing up the outside. Consider hellebores and you won't be sorry.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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