For all of February, this is what we battled in Connecticut. Now you see why I refer to it as the “frozen north. ” That funny red stick you see in the snow by the tree? That’s a 6 foot snow broom–I use it to clear the cars. You can see where I started on the far right.
But this is a gardening blog with a title about hellebores. I just wanted to give you some perspective for the next photo. Because, as you can imagine, it has taken quite some time for all this snow to melt, particularly when more kept falling.
When all the snow did melt, however, this is what’s underneath.
I was shocked to see such fully developed buds coming out from under the snow. But of course, the temperature under there would have been stable and relatively warm–near freezing.
Many people find hellebores ordinary or common. Since these–along with the snowdrops–are the first things blooming for me, I am always delighted to see them!
The allure escapes me; for the opposite reason. They do not need to be resilient here, since the winters are so (boringly) mild. However, they do not do well anyway. Perhaps they perform better with a bit more chill than they get. I suspect that they also prefer more humidity, although this particular region is a bit more humid than the chaparral climates a bit farther inland. I shared pictures of six of them recently, because they bloomed unusually well this year. It must have been something about the weather. I doubt it was the result of anything we did. They have been here for many years, and are actually getting slightly crowded. They do not look crowded because they are so wimpy. Nonetheless, I should move some of them around to see if I can find a spot that they would be happy in. If so, I could move a few more too.
I saw your post of varieties much prettier than mine. As I said in my post, when all that snow melted and I saw these buds, I was just ecstatic! I think it’s the early bloom more than anything. I go crazy for plain old pieris japonica too for the same reason.
Our garden centers are trying to sell us pansies right now. It’s in the teens in the morning. I don’t want to pamper pansies, as much as I like them! So give me my boring hellebores for now–and I will save the more interesting things for when it’s better weather.
PS. If we all liked the same thing, wouldn’t our blogs be boring?
I discovered the same, on my H. nigersmithii ‘Ivory Prince’, and was equally surprised! I think (fingers crossed) that the very last remnants of snow in my backyard have FINALLY completely disappeared on this rainy 43-degree March 18th day. Of course, now that I’ve said that…..
Yes, I know! I am not liking the forecast at all! At least the sun–when we see it–is warm this time of year.