1.24.2013

The Hellebore


Hellebore close to blooming at Old Rose Garden- Ault Park



 Late January and the gardens are holding their cards close, revealing to us the architecture of trees, the marvelous patterns of bark that we often miss in the summer and a few early blooming plants to remind us that soon enough the gardens will erupt with color. One of my favorite plants for the garden, no matter the season is the Hellebore. Dark green, glossy evergreen leaves which appear to be immune to all pests and diseases create a thick matt of foliage during the year. In the winter or early spring I remove spent leaves at the base of the plant to clean it up a bit and that is it for the care. The Hellebore carries on with little maintenance from me but with much admiration.

The Hellebore in my park shade garden was a rescue plant. The first summer I was working on the plot I found the plant tossed on the compost pile. Immediately upon seeing it, I snatched it from eminent doom and planted it the new plot. It was not the perkiest of plants that first terribly hot summer but the roots took hold and like any perennial worth its salt, it came to life the next spring and has been thriving ever since.

A Hellebore just outside my front door is blooming already- a treat I assume many who live here pass by each morning without notice. You have to stop and get down low to see its beautiful bloom. And at the park, a few hellebores can be found, especially around the Old Rose Garden; just enough to motivate me to brave the frigid temperatures and trek up to the park to check on their progress.

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