How marvelous if complaining made the lull until spring seem shorter (or ever accomplished a thing)? To minimize whining, I must take the winter months a step at a time. First, I await the first blooms of hellebores (Helleborus), then vernal witch hazels (Hamamelis vernalis, below) and so on, with each new bloom an accomplished success. But still, the season drags far too long.
Mild winter days spent in labor are celebrated. Today, in my anxiousness to do something, anything on this chilly January afternoon I have transplanted several three-year hellebore seedlings from beneath a congested clump. I’m uncertain if these will flower this year, or next, but they’re better off planted into some other partially shaded spot with a bit more room. Dozens more could be moved from beneath long established hellebores, but every other stab of the trowel chops into some bulb or dormant perennial so the better plan is to put this off until March. Drat, my labor is cut short.
Each week in January yields an increasing number of blooms, but this is the season to appreciate the garden’s evergreens. Certainly, I notice the large, yellow tipped Fernspray (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Fernspray Gold’) and Hinoki cypresses (C. obtusa ‘Aurea’ below) beside the koi pond patio while neighboring dogwoods, fringetree, and Japanese maples are bare.
The globose blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Globosa’, below) beside the summerhouse loses a bit of color each year as shade increases from the neighboring red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) and Golden Full Moon Japanese maple (Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’) . At some point, hopefully years into the future, the spruce is doomed to failure without direct sunlight. I consider planting another, but the dwarf spruce grows to a substantial width that is difficult to tame without looking more managed than I prefer, and there is little space available after three decades of planting.
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Wish you had shared some pictures of your hellebores.
I try not to overdo hellebore photos. There are a dozen flowering today and there will be another dozen next week, so there will be plenty of photos coming soon.