My family thinks I’m a good gardener. They look at my yard, and see all the work I’ve put into it and assume that I know what I’m doing. They never see the plants that don’t make it, the stacks of empty containers, the mistakes I throw mulch over, or remember that that that plant was over there last year, and now it’s starting all over again in a sunnier spot. I’m not saying that I don’t know anything, just that there’s a lot of moving around and trial and error in my yard, and all they see is the end result.
Something I’ve been giving a go with these past couple of years is Hellebores. They are not a native plant, so I was a little leery of them, but since they bloom in early spring, a nice source of pollen to whatever bee might be out and about at that time, I thought I’d give them a whirl. That they like shade is a big plus, and they are out even before crocus.
I’ve had them for about two years now, in three places in my yard as I try to find their shade intolerance. My original plant by the garage which gets a fair amount of sun for a shady spot, overwinters well and looks nice and green, but it doesn’t flower that much. The ones out front that get less light are pretty much wasting to nothing. If they survive the winter, I’ll move them. But the ones on the south side of the house in the shade of a large tree are starting to show promise, with unexpected flowers this year.
I may have found the perfect spot for my Hellebores. And as for the spot up front in the shade? I’ll just keep looking.