Written by Michelle Minera, member of the Broadview Garden Club
Midwinter can be quiet, except for the colored twigs of willows and dogwoods, but late winter and early spring can burst forth with an abundance of hellebore blooms. They can be winter’s most captivating plant. It is so fun to walk out into your sleepy garden and see a fountain of blooms on your hellebore plants. Sometimes you have to look for the blooms, since some of them nod their little heads towards the ground and get lost in the foliage.
We are lucky in the Northwest that the hellebore plants grow so well. The are descended from the limy conditions in Greece, Turkey and Caucasus, but they like our NW acidic soil. You should work plenty of humus and mulch in before you plant to help make them thrive. They like wood chips and will adapted to a variety of light conditions. They are undemanding and give you that little bit of hope that spring is on its way.
Swanson’s Nursery is a wonderful place to learn more about the varieties of Hellebore plants that do well in the Northwest. It is also good to just go there at this time of year and learn what flowers are blooming in late February and early March. That will help you to decide what you could plant this year, that will give you the gift of a flower in early spring.