Carefully uncovering more of the hellebores, always a delight. I’ve trimmed off the old leaves — you don’t have to, but they get kind of raggedy, and the new leaves are emerging now.
If you’re planting new hellebores this season, place them ideally in semi-shade; dense shade will reduce flowering. But since they bloom so early, it’s generally fine to plant them under deciduous trees, as they’ll do most of their blooming before the trees leaf out. All hellebores are deer proof.
Like most perennials, I think, when hellebores get old enough (about 5 years old), you can dig them up and divide them, making more plants for yourself, or to give away to neighbors.
Last year was the first year my hellebores were big enough for dividing, and it was super-fun giving them away. If you’re a new homeowner and you’re planning on 10-20 years in your house, investing in perennials now will pay rich rewards 5-10 years down the line.
Here’s a lot more info on hellebores: https://northwestgardennursery.com/our-hellebores/culture/
Note for neighbors (we’re the blue and purple house on Wisconsin, just a block south of the Y) — I’m very happy to have neighbors wandering in the front garden at any time, looking at plants. My husband has gotten used to it. I’m often working out there in the mornings, do say hi.
Please feel free to bring your kids and/or pets with you. If the kids want to pick up and play with the fairies etc., that’s totally fine; if you can try to get them to put them back in roughly the same place when they’re done, that’d be great. But I’ve had small children, and if fairies get damaged or disappear on occasion, that’s to be expected — don’t stress about it, please.
Check the little free library flyer-holder in a few weeks for a handout on identifying early spring bulbs — once the muscari, etc. are up, I’ll put that in there. Fun to do with little ones! And do feel free to help yourself to chalk from the library and chalk up our sidewalk!
We do have an old dog (Ellie) who wanders the backyard (behind a gated fence), and a young cat (Arya) who has the run of the neighborhood. They’re both very gentle and friendly. If the cat lets you come close enough to pet him, I’ll be impressed — he’s fast. If the dog is hanging out in the front yard, she’ll be on a leash, and can’t reach to the sidewalk, just fyi. But she is also very slow now.