You’ll get non-stop delivery from this evergreen perennial, season after season. The Lenten Rose Helleborus orientalis blooms in late winter before anything else, and has the energy and resistance to stand up to late frosts. Bloom season is January through March, and even the faded, nodding flowers are beautiful at the end of the cycle.
It’s best to choose plants when they are blooming so you can pick “true colors” that are best for your garden palette. Nurseries tend to stock plants only when they are blooming, so a visit to the local nursery will reveal the color choices for this perennial.
Even better, these plants are deer and rabbit resistant, so plant them with confidence in the garden. They will self-sow, very slowly, so dividing is rarely necessary unless you are willing to share them with friends, family or neighbors.
My two favorite colors are coral and turquoise, not necessarily in that order. It’s mid-February, and it’s just occurred to me how much “coral” you can find in the garden this time of year. (I’ll talk about turquoise another day.)
One of my favorite trees, the Coral Bark Maple, has brilliant red branches in winter, especially the ‘Beni Kawa,’ a personal favorite.
And low and behold, my favorite short-lived winter annual has arrived in the nurseries: the Primrose. This one is called Coral Rose, and it’s typical of the lovely jewel tones this annual is notable for.
Use Primrose to fill in winter garden containers where the cold might have killed off an annual or two. These plants will carry through for another month or more, with regular watering & feeding.
Just imagine if you could plant these daffodils, so that they came up through a bed of yellow and coral Primrose! This Daffodil is ‘Pink Palmares.’
And if you are lucky enough to find Lenten Rose Winter Jewel Series, your late winter coral garden is perfectly aligned!