And I bought one, and I brought it home, and I discovered as I walked in the back door that Toni had at that very moment arrived at the front door, bearing that selfsame hellebore plant as a gift for me (along with a cheery cancer-defeating card). So now I had two, two hellebores! The second miracle! Clearly, it was meant to be, a sign from the universe that if I went ahead and planted selfsame hellebores, they would likely survive, despite an occasional slight overnight under 32 temperature to come.
So I went out into the yard, and I raked away the leaf mold from the existing hellebores, uncovering their browning old leaves and fresh new sprouting flowers. And then yea, verily, I trimmed away the old leaves, which I haven't ever bothered to do before, but apparently, it's good for them, according to the wisdom of the internet. It certainly looks neater, all heaven be praised. Then I placed the pots on either side of the front steps, and then I replaced the pots, and considered them at length, and at last, as the sun began its descent, I made my final placement, and then, o reader, I dug.
On removing the sheltering pots I discovered that indeed, the plants were mightily root bound, indicating that my prior assessment was correct. They were old plants! I hearkened back to my days of watching garden shows, where they indicated that one might use a shovel to break up the engirdled roots, facilitating their penetrating more swiftly into the soil and seeking fresh nourishment. Boldly, praying that I was not actually killing the plant, I sliced mightily into the root mass, again and again and again. (Like David facing Goliath, mayhap.)
And then I dug in the soil, cold and damp with melted snow, and my fingers grew chilled and my fingernails filthy, in the way overeager gardeners have known for aeons past. And I placed the plants, and replaced the soil, and then I swept the path clean(ish). And then yea, verily, I stood back and contemplated my work, and it did seem most spring-like and cheering. And the sun set on the first day of planting, and it was good.