From this garden’s beginnings, I’ve planted for winter blooms, though at little sacrifice to the other seasons, I think. The winter months stretch forever, it seems, and even with mild temperatures we’ve experienced this year, the scattered flowers are required to pacify the restless soul.
While winter flowering snowdrops (above) and witch hazels are treasured, it is hellebores that take center stage, with several that begin flowering in January, and many in February. I beg forgiveness for not keeping better track of named varieties, but I favor equally the simplest and least expensive,
New additions will soon be on the way for planting in the next few weeks, and several hellebores are only beginning to show swelling buds, so these will not flower until late in the month. Most years, late flowering is early March, but this year I expect that will be at least a week earlier.
Why is it a problem if a garden lacks hellebores? Of course, it is not, but these are sturdy, low care perennials (though leaves are evergreen) that are tolerant of a range of conditions as long as the afternoon summer sun is avoided (also of little interest to deer). A hellebore or two passed along the front walk will brighten the mood every late winter day once flowers appear. My winter darkness is not so easily lightened, so I must have many dozens.