Yesterday was a warm and balmy day and as I was leaving campus, I noticed that the landscape guys were all out trimming back the monkey grass, planting new azaleas and spreading mulch. I could smell the rich odor of freshly dug earth and a hint of rain on the wind. There is a noticeable change in the air. The brown landscape is showing subtle hints of color. Spring is on the way!
Even though Spring hasn't officially arrived yet, there are still things to see in the garden. Helleborus (hellebores) are probably one of the most popular winter blooming plants. It took a while for me to discover these plants and I'm just now planting more in the garden. They start blooming in February and bloom for several months. I looked them up in the Southern Living Garden Book and I see that there are several types of hellebores and I'm sorry to report that I have no idea which kind I have. I'm guessing H. orientalis?
I just ordered a selection of 12 from Sunshine Farms and Gardens last fall and these are a hybrid mix of several species within the genus. So I'm even more confused. Anyway, I think I'll just enjoy the flowers for now.
Frances at Fairegarden has showcased many great photos of her hellebores and recently talked about pruning them. Hellebores are easy to grow and they like good soil ammended with organic material. Southern Living says that they like a neutral PH and to apply lime if necessary. They are slow to reestablish after transplanting so leave them in the same spot if you can. They make good cut flowers.