When Pat Bowen, to whom I owe my Master Gardener training -- indeed, my entire evolution as a gardener -- told me last year that Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) does not necessarily require a lot of shade, I was skeptical. But, when she told me I could come to her 7+ acre garden and dig up some "babies" for my garden, I was there in no time at all. "Don't expect them to bloom next year (2010)", she told me. "They need time to mature, so give them a year or two." I was thrilled enough that all ten or twelve of them survived and did not expect what I saw today. Isn't this spectacular? A good omen for my 2010 garden?
A week ago today, I was playing in the snow, taking the kinds of photographs I have considered extremely rare for this part of the country. Today, in 60F/14C degrees, I had a great time having lunch outside on the patio, with birds in the trees and shrubs all around. Wow - such a change!