Here’s what’s new in the garden: the upward-facing hellebores (aka lenten roses) I planted last spring are blooming …
They surprised me by coming out about a month earlier than my standard hellebores, which are just now budding. That may not be a good thing: we’re expecting temperatures in the teens tonight. It’s too windy to cover them, so we’ll see how tough the blooms are.
Hellebores bloom early in the year when not much else does, keep their blooms for months, and their foliage year round. They’re advertised to be deer-proof, an attribute I hadn’t paid much attention to until I saw Bambi wander through the back yard a few weeks ago. Plus, they self sow, so if you have a few years to invest, they’re not only a beautiful and sustainable ground-cover, they’re easy to propagate (and, don’t climb the trees or stage hostile take-overs like English ivy).
I’m going to be careful to pull the mulch back when the seeds form, so they can take root and make new hellebores next year. Here’s what the standard downward-facing hellebores look like after the blooms have been out a few weeks. This photo is from March of a previous year —
And here are some seedlings— it’ll be another year or two before they’re big enough to bloom.
I have some of the standard hellebores available for pass-along. If you live close by and are interested, let me know.
Someday I’ll make it to Piccadilly Farm’s Hellebore Days. Who could resist an address on Whippoorwill Road?
More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: New
More on Piccadilly Farm.