I have never grown a helleborus in my yard until this year. I bought two of this type of perennial last fall and put them out front. I was looking for plants that like shade and these were in the shade lovers section at the nursery.
It’s late April as I write this and both the Lenton Rose and Spring Promise (pictured) have numerous flowers. The blooms tend to droop and face downward but the leaves stayed on all winter long! I did have to trim a few of the dead leaves to clean it up, but they do seem to be very hardy.
This one called “Emma” has such pretty flowers and the other one I planted has more greenish blooms. I’m glad I have added these to my landscape. It’s nice to go outside so early in the season up here in New England and see flowers! Not even my tulips have bloomed yet.
Besides Spring, the end of summer is a great time to plant and divide perennials. The hot days of summer are not the time to consider adding a garden or moving plants around. In fact, when planting a new perennial shrub or annual, it’s best to do so on a cool, cloudy day. Or plant them in the evening when they have the night to adjust to their new spot.
I was thinking about this when I disregarded my own advice and uprooted a little azalea I found among the overgrown front border at my new home. Considering where the poor thing was, I felt that it had a better chance in a new spot in the sun by the driveway. So I planted it mid-day but gave it lots of water and covered the top with leaf mold.
Digging holes for planting up here in the Granite State (New Hampshire) means dealing with rocks. Lots of rocks. In fact it can take me up to 10 minutes to dig a decent size hole for a quart size root ball because I have to pull all the rocks out of the hole and usually cut some roots that are criss-crossing the opening.
Next I add some good dirt. It can come from a store or from your compost or from another section of your yard. And I add bonemeal to strengthen the roots. Always mix it in well with the dirt in the hole. And then water – really well. Soaking the entire root system is important when first planting something. In fact, if you bought a plant and the pot is dried out, give it lots of water before transplanting.
Since I am starting from scratch at my place, I need to find some shade loving perennials for the front under a line of trees along the road. I also have lots of sun in the back so a few sun-loving perennials will go back there to grow among my vegetable garden.
This is what I will shop for this Fall and next Spring:
Shade plants – Astilbe, Hostas, Lily of the Valley and Bleeding Heart.
Sun plants – Coneflowers, Monarda (red flowers for hummingbirds), Peonies and Hydrangeas.
These may be hard to find at this time of year and most likely they won’t be looking too good if they are dormant and without blooms, but as long as they look healthy they will come back next spring. Depending on the cost, I hope to add all these favorites to my zone 5 landscape before winter. Pictures to come!