Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lenten Roses

It has been spring in our garden for for a few weeks now. I thought I'd practice using the new zoom lens Mr. W ordered for his fancy new camera. It's fun, but as you can see on this crocus, I still have some kinks to work out.
I don't remember having hellebores when I was growing up, but several years ago I saw Martha do a feature on them and she said that they were also called Lenten Roses. I liked that idea right away! It seems that so many flowers were given a religious name if they were in bloom around the time of a feast day. What better way to decorate for a feast day than to be able to bring in cuttings from your own yard? So I have been gradually building my Scripture Garden. It needs a lot of work, but so does everything in an old house.
I have really fallen for Lenten roses. They are purple, which is my favorite color. They love the shade, and most of our garden is shaded. They are evergreen thus, unlike all the bulbs I have planted, I can avoid holes in the beds and create some winter interest. And they flower early! I have several varieties. I used my Christmas money to buy 6 of them 4 years ago. I have lost two since then.Recently my mother bought me two more that are beautiful!Primrose, or Lady's frills, will winter over in Portland. I put in a few of these annuals 2 years ago and they have come back each year since.While February in Portland is a month for crocus, camelia, forsythia, and hellebores, March has always meant daffodils. Yellow is not my favorite color, but daffodills are such a cheery flower! I have been adding different varieties to our garden. I'm hoping they naturalize a little bit more so that I can have some cuttings to bring into the house. Since I took these photos in February, this was the first daffodil to erupt, his outer petals hadn't emerged yet so he was all trumpet. These little guys were just beginning to open, they are a fun pom pom shape rather than the traditional trumpet.
The ranunculus I planted last year returned!

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