Bloom Thyme Friday: Hellebores, Bangs and Saying Goodbye

Hellebores . . .

The garden centers and even Trader Joe’s have the most beautiful Hellebores right now! While I have several, I was very tempted to buy a deep red one I saw this week. 

Hellebores —  also called Christmas rose or Lenten rose  aren’t in the rose family. Actually they are closely related to buttercups and anemones! These shade loving, low-maintenance and deer-resistant elegant beauties add so much to the spring garden.  

This week my hellebores were a mess. Last year’s scraggly foliage was everywhere, hiding all the beautiful buds.

While grooming the hellebores I kept thinking of conversations with my mom…. back in the day when I thought long bangs were very fashionable. Many times I heard, “Your bangs are too long, I can’t see your face.” 😂 I rarely liked the trim my bangs would then get!!  I hope the hellebores like their new “do”. 💇🏼‍♀️ It was severe but I think they look very fashionable and the blooms will soon steal the show! They are on course to bloom right on time for Easter.  For more on Hellebores, hop over to the Missouri Botanical Garden site here. NOTE: All parts of Hellebores are poisonous so be careful in handling! I wear gloves.


Big stuff in the garden this week…. saying goodbye to 25 year old sickly crabapple. 🥺 This day has been coming for some time as it became more sickly with apple scab the last few years. The last few springs we had a couple of weeks of pretty blooms and when the blooms came down, the leaves starting peppering down with them and continued to fall. For 90% of the season it looked sickly. We have friends who treated their crab apple tree for scab several times but saw no improvement so we decided to just remove the tree. We have other crab apple trees that are doing well. 

It was impressive the way Mr. G wrangled that tree! He was on his own for the cutting but I jumped in for the cleanup. Needless to say, we both slept well that night!

I know the roses planted in that area are celebrating as they will now get more light and water — and some pretty new neighbors. I had a moment of sadness but quickly said my goodbye and was lost in the possibilities!! More space! More sun! More plants! Today I’m out with pencil, paper and measuring tape. #newplan  

Happy News . . .

Snowdrops are blooming making me very happy. Until recently I was happy to watch for the snowdrops to bloom in the woods near us and enjoy them there. However, you can’t visit England, watch Monty Don on Gardener’s World for two years,  and not fall completely in love with snow drops. So sweet and simple and beautiful. A perfect spring flower. The Victorian flower dictionaries list the Snow Drop meaning as “hope”. I can see why. It blooms so early — sometimes pushing the snow out of the way to make it’s entrance at the end of winter giving us just what we need the most — Hope!

I bought my snow drops at Brent and Becky’s. The variety is Galanthus elwesii Mount Everest. They are sooooo cute. 

My first little babies
Snowdrops in the woods this week.

No one celebrates the arrival of snow drops like those in the UK. It is easy to be drawn into the excitement with all the  “snow drop sighting reports” from UK friends and family.  

That smile … he’s enjoying the snowdrops too.

Crocus are popping up all over the place and the bees are thrilled.


A Year at Brandywine Cottage by David L. Culp

I was first introduced to Brandywine Cottage in David Culp’s book The Layered Garden so I couldn’t wait to have A Year in Brandywine Cottage.

Whether you have read the first book or not, this book is one to sink into. Every page takes you on a walk through David’s amazing garden and gives you something beautiful to take away … a tip, an idea, a plant or a recipe. Seriously a dandelion salad never looked so good as the one featured on Page 54. Each step of the way you are encouraged to “look closer.” Every page celebrates the garden and the gardener and as you go on a journey through all seasons, you not only feel privileged to have this inside look at David’s garden life but you are also inspired to “look closer” at the world around you and live your best gardening life too. 


Our phone holds so much information and one of the best parts of that is the photographs we take. Part of my plans for the current spring are based on looking back at pictures of seasons past. When did it bloom? How did it look? What do I want to change?

I also go through the blog and read articles I’ve written as well as the journal I’ve kept of bloom times, varieties, etc.

With the dawn of a new decade – 2020 – I decided to keep a running list of daily happenings that included life and garden highlights and “lowlights” too. Little did I know just what I would be writing about.

I am now reading what I wrote in March and as I read, I can’t help but be stunned by the use of words that before 2020 were practically foreign to me. Words like….

  • Pandemic
  • Covid19
  • Self Quarantine
  • Cabin Fever
  • Travel Ban
  • Mask Mandates
  • 6′ apart
  • Uncertain Times / Unprecedented Times
  • 15 Days to Flatten the Curve
  • Toilet Paper Shortage

I don’t want to forget where we have been, but am so glad that now we are hearing much more positive and hopeful words… 

  • Vaccines
  • Herd immunity
  • And, a favorite new trend – more people gardening than ever before!

Yes, so many had more time to work in their gardens than ever before and many, many people found their way to making a garden for the first time! 

Now we are ALL gonna be heading to the garden centers — together! It’s a first come/first serve world — but no pushing or shoving  please. 😁  I’ve already heard from more than one source that we should expect shortages and no special orders! 

Friends, our wait is over … spring is officially upon us. Garden Centers and big box stores are gearing up for what looks to be a big gardening year!! Stay safe and have fun getting out there to find your prizes! And, love your neighbor as yourself even if they get the best tomato plants before you get there! 😂

13 thoughts on “Bloom Thyme Friday: Hellebores, Bangs and Saying Goodbye

  1. I am just learning about hellebores. I planted mine late in the spring last year. Right now I found that my hellebores are beginning; I found them under tree leaves and last years surprisingly green hellebore leaves. I have a lot to learn.

  2. Great post! Your snow drops & hellebores are beautiful! I need to add these to my garden. Still pruning roses in my garden. Should have started in Feb. Spring here is very early. I even cut some small rose bloom buds while pruning this week!

    1. We don’t usually trim roses this early but the roses are starting to bud!! I fear for what could come! You will love have snowdrops and Hellebores Jim. They come so early and get us much closer to all-year blooms. Your grandkids will love looking for them! Hope all is going well! Enjoy your spring!

  3. I’ve never tried hellebores, but I have to use plants that are resistant to summer heat and drought here.

    Sometimes spraying a tree with heavy duty MiracleGro will combat fungus issues. I rescued a pine tree once that way. I think it is the copper sulfate in it that does the trick.

    1. Check out Hellebores… have those plants that bloom so early add so much to our garden experience I think! We get closer and closer to all-year bloomers even up here where it gets so cold and everything looks dead! 🙂

      1. I will try one to see how it survives. I have seen it hit high 90s and 100s for days on end in a number of summers. We get little to no rain from July to late September. Winters are wet but not like New England cold in my area.

  4. I bought Mt Everest snowdrops from Brent & Becky’s bulbs last fall. They are just poking through the soil. But my ‘S. Arnott’ snowdrops are up and blooming. I suggest you get some ‘S. Arnott’ and plant them where the snow melts first for the earliest possible bloom. ‘S. Arnott’ blooms earlier than G. elwesii, which blooms earlier than G. nivalis, which is probably what is blooming in the woods. And ‘S. Arnott’ is fragrant! It also multiplies well, which means if you buy a few, you will have a nice patch in no time. And did you know there is a Facebook group–Snowdrops in American Gardens–for those in the U.S. (anyone at all, really) who enjoy snowdrops.

    1. Thanks so much for the good advice on S. Arnott. I will definitely look for them! They are just the sweetest little flowers! Enjoy all your pretty blooms. These early blooms sure add a lot to the garden experience.

  5. Oh, that is so sad about the crabapple tree! They are not my favorite because some cultivars need such specialized pruning (almost as intensive as a fruiting apple trees), but they should also survive for a long time. Even if they get overgrown and sloppy, they can be renovated and restructured. I do not take disease into consideration.

  6. I just read the ARS Newsletter, and the editor, Rita Perwich’s, new word for this year is “wholehearted.” I like that word, and I love your snowdrops and their meaning plus that cute little fellow who has gotten taller. Are they ever planning to return and live in the USA after this pandemic? I love my crabapple blossoms, but I never seem to get many crabapples. My sister once made jelly from crabapples. They are so unique in fall floral arrangements, just the right size and color. Got my white pansies planted and put some in a red pot. I still love white flowers. I watched “Growing A Greener World” this morning, and Joe had several people’s videos on his show who were showing their summer gardens and their amazing creativity. If you google, you may be able to see this show. It was really good with balcony gardens, container gardens, plantings on both sides of a sidewalk, raised garden beds, etc.. He is Joe Lamp’l, and this was one of his best shows. Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!

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