and the winner is…helleborus niger (again)

helleborus-nigerT HE FIRST RACE AT CUPCAKE DOWNS always has the same winner by a length: Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose, the first perennial to bloom, no matter what. This year is no exception (which is what “no matter what” means, perhaps you guessed) and here it is. Up and running, since March 20, as if to greet the spring personally and right on time.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Sue. Congratulations on joining the hellebore fold…you will soon be addicted. Pea pods? No. Don’t eat any part of a hellebore; not safe. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen an animal munch one. See you soon again.

  1. Susan Reimer says:

    My hellebores are so droopy this year…I know the cups are supposed to turn down so they don’t collect the snow…but I am wondering if they are suffering from too little water. It has been a really dry winter.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Susan. I don’t know…I have ones that face in all directions, and in all flower sizes and shades and so on, so I am not sure. Nice to “meet,” and I will do some homework and see what I learn.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Bernard. It is amazing that in a few short years the hellebore has gone from virtually unknown to American gardeners to part of a public landscape. Love it! Hope to see you again soon.

  2. Deirdre says:

    I haven’t had much luck with the H. niger either, though the H. orientalis is easy enough to please. I may try H. niger again since my new garden has much better drainage then my old one.

    1. margaret says:

      @Dierdre: The funny part: I tried H. niger in a really well-drained spot over and again…failure….and then I stupidly (it might seem) put it where the soil stinks, no drainage. It’s delighted. I think that thinking too much sometimes has no good effect, and that plants just do what they want to anyway, to piss you off, you know? Anyhow, you are right, of course…but sometimes things work (or fail) in spite of what’s in the books. Mystery!

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