Saturday, March 7, 2009
Glancing out the door this morning, I caught sight of the first blooms of Helleborus orientalis, my dear little hellebores, also called Lenten Rose, the flowers nodding on their stems in agreement that indeed, spring is here. Usually beginning in late February or early March, these 12" high evergreen perennials bloom for nearly two months, long before the rest of the spring bulbs and flowers begin to show their faces. As their bloom time winds down, the leaves remain a rich dark green, with lighter green new growth. While adaptable to full sun, they prefer to be in medium shade. Mine sit atop a stone retaining wall, under a mature dogwood tree, allowing a better view of the flowers, and are mixed with hosta, brunnera, euphorbia and maidenhair ferns that emerge later in spring.