Well, doggone it. There I go, doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do: starting a blog only to neglect it. And here I am, publishing my first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day 4 days late. Better late than never, right?
One of the first suggestions my friend and garden designer made for my garden makeover was a hellebore for the north side of my house that doesn’t get much more than morning sun. When we bought my first plant in October 2011, I was a little skeptical. The big, serrated leaves were kind of ratty, and I couldn’t see why she was so excited about it. But later that winter, it put on a show like this for me, and I’ve never looked back.
Although I bought my first hellebore when it was not in bloom and have no regrets, I’ve since learned that it’s better to buy these plants when you can see the flower color, which can vary drastically from plant to plant. To that end, I recently took a trip to Eugene to visit family and stop by the Northwest Garden Nursery during their Hellebore Open Garden Days (more on that later…) It was a successful adventure, as evidenced by the 10 beautiful plants I brought home in shades of white, pink, red and jade. I think everyone should include a hellebore (or 10) in their garden, as their cheery pops of color can lift your spirit on even the dreariest Seattle winter day.
Last fall I planted snowdrops for the first time, and man are they cute! I now realize I need to plant hundreds to make more of an impact, and I was thrilled to see they come in so many varieties. In March I have only one or two left, as they make way for the next round of early bulbs, like these hyacinth. In 2011 I planted so many hyacinth that their potent fragrance gave me a headache every time I worked near them, so I made sure to scale way back this year.
The crocus are so pretty, but the flowers regrettably tend to last only a day or so at my house. Yesterday I solved that mystery, when I spotted a chipmunk popping off a bloom, gnawing on its sweet, nectar-y end, then tossing it aside to pick another. I guess he thought it was his own little salad bar.
My only other plants in full bloom now are the two Pieris shrubs I put in last October, where I started a shade garden in the backyard. They are beautiful, but it sure does try a beginning gardener’s patience to wait for these new treasures to grow and fill in.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dream Gardens. On the 15th of every month (or on the 19th if you’re a little late to the party, like me), bloggers far and wide post photos of the flowers, shrubs and trees putting on a show in their gardens on that day. Be sure to visit her blog to see what’s in bloom around the world!