Garden Reverie

Queen of the March Garden

Lil' Rhett in a sea of hellebores and daffodils

Lil’ Rhett in a sea of hellebores and daffodils

Ah, March.  The big tease.  We got a dumping of wet, heavy, mushy snow this past Wednesday here in Richmond.   All that remains is a memory and a few spots in nooks and crannies on the north side of the house.

But the queen of the March garden reigns supreme.  The so-called Lenten Rose, the lovely hellebore.  I have two species of hellebore in my garden: helleborus argutifolius (Corsican hellebore) and hellebores foetidus (stinking hellebore).

They seem to thrive where other plants won’t; in fact, for me they are practically cast-iron.  The picture above shows a detail from the bed around my patio.  In 1998 I planted 3 little crape myrtles in this bed, which is L-shaped.  Today they are huge and provide a dense, dry shade for the plants below.  The hellebores love it whereas other shade-lovers seem to simply peter out after a while.

But in early spring it is glorious with the blooms of hellebores, white daffodils and new green growth on the boxwoods.

These pictures were taken in March 2012 after a warmer winter than we had this year.  Interestingly, though the hellebores are already in their full glory – indeed they have been blooming since the end of January (another big plus) – the daffodils and other plants are a couple of weeks behind.

helleborus argutifolius

helleborus argutifolius

Hellebores make a divine cut flower, too.  I have a cutting from the fabulous chartreuse “stinking” (a terrible insult of a name) hellebore in the kitchen windowsill that has been there since early February.

So hail to the hellebore, that takes me out of a wintertime funk and provides beauty for months on end.  Queen of the garden, indeed.

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This entry was published on March 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM. It’s filed under garden, Glittermoon, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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