flowers, garden, winter gardening

The Hellebores Survived!

About a year ago, I wrote about my discovery of hellebores.  I ordered a couple from Spring Hill Nurseries, and plopped them in Elaine’s View garden, not sure what to expect.

As I knew would happen, with spring the hostas quickly took over the site, and I thought I had lost the hellebores.  This fall, as I was cleaning up the shade garden and preparing for winter, I stumbled upon a couple of plants that looked not quite like weeds.  There was something a bit more sturdy to the stems, a bit more green than the blanching mishmash of weeds and spent hostas.

Something told me not to cut, but to wait, be patient, maybe I can identify these guys.

When I ordered the hellebores, I was concentrating solely on the blooms.  I found two that promised red blooms, one that promised a ruffled edge, one a deep red.

I really wanted to add some spicy color to the endless sea of green hostas – the only plant that seems to survive on that side of the house.

Blue Hosta

The sunlight is very minimal on that stark, northern exposed garden bed.  Our tall, two-story house shades that side liberally all day, with only a sparse amount of afternoon sun hitting the ground in mid summer.

I’ve stubbornly tried so many plants there, losing plants too numerous to mention.  Hard lesson learned – know your plants expectations and follow THEIR rules.  But the hostas do extremely well there.  I’ve added a sampling of fern last year, and when I discovered the hellebores, I was giddy with anticipation!

But I forgot to take note of the foliage.

I think these might be them!

Of course, I Googled “Hellebore leaves”, and thankfully discovered that, yes, yes indeed, these two mystery survivors are the hellebores!

We haven’t had any trace of snow yet this year, but I’m sure it’s a coming!  And from what I’ve read, they will survive!  I will make a note to look at them in early February, and see if I can trim back the leaves from last year.  I will be looking with great anticipation for the unfurling of the new leaves, and the (hopefully) plentiful buds.  Until then.

What’s your favorite shade plant?  I could really use some suggestions on what to add to my shade collection!

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flowers, garden, gardening

A Slow Start – But It’s a Start!

The Helleborus have arrived!

Peppermint Ruffles

And they are much smaller than I anticipated, but they do look like healthy plants.

The Peppermint Ruffles actually arrived in bloom – so exciting!  It’s so hard to judge the size of a plant by the pictures they show in the catalog.  I’m thinking that once they start establishing, I’ll be dividing and transplanting in a year or two.

Helleborus

I was hoping to plant by week’s end, and I was able to get them in the ground just yesterday.  I’d been scouting the yard trying to determine the best location, and determined Elaine’s View the best spot – it’s shady most of the day and gets minimal evening sun.  The digging was easier than I anticipated – the ground is still very wet from all the snow melt.  And I was thrilled to open the composter to discover some great compost to help strengthen the soil.  I worked some into the ground as I turned the small plot.

Digging like this before other perennials have started is a dangerous practice for me.  As much as I think I remember the gardens from year to year, I’m always nervous that I’ll disturb a plant that I’ve forgotten about.  I really must update the garden plans so I have a good map to follow!

I’m hoping that the snowdrops arrive soon so they can join the Lenten Rose in this shade garden.  I’ll try them there, and can always move them if it turns out bad.

On my tour of the yard, I realized that something has been snacking on my Japanese Maple.

I’m so disappointed – I never even got a real good picture of it.  I’m terrible at capturing those before shots!  I’m not sure it will recover but I’m hoping.  Elaine tells me that deer frequent the yard.  I’ve never seen them, but she’s home more than I am so I will have to take her word for it.  I’m hoping deer do not like hellebore – I must read up on that.

Just a couple of crocus are up and the daffodils are poking their heads out of the ground.

My mom tells me that April is predicted to be cooler than normal.  I certainly hope this isn’t our climate changing – I can’t take much more of this cold.  I need warmth, and not just a sneak peek!  I’m seeing mid 30s in the 5 day forecast, and mid 50s the week after next.  By then it will be April, and I really don’t want to see showers of the snow variety!