Last September, as I was scrounging the clearance plants table at one of our local box stores, I came across the last two Hellebore pots in the store. I'd never grown Hellebores before, but liked the idea of having another early bloomer to usher winter our of our garden. The two Helleborus 'Melody' that were available looked healthy were marked down to four dollars per plant, so it was an easy decision.
I decided to plant them at the base of our other late winter bloomer, Hammamelis vernalis (witch hazel), along the back fence of our property, with the hope that they form a matched pair in bloom this season. I kept my hopes in check because of all the garden horror stories about hellebores taking years to bloom, but I wasn't disappointed. As the snow cover melted in early March and the witch hazel flower buds began to swell, one hellebore broke through the soil with a new flower shoot.
Two weeks later, Helleborus 'Melody' and Hammemelis vernalis stand together as the only two plants in bloom for my inaugural Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.