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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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