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.

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