Gardener's Notes

Herons and Hellebores

March 27, 2019
Great Blue Heron

At GPF Maineville, this time of year the mornings promise to be crisp, the herons promise to be cantankerous and the hellebores promise to inspire the curious gardener in us all.  

From the edge of our perennial shade house one can look upward and observe the local heron rookery or look within to the blooming hellebores heralding early spring.  From where I stand, no two things could host so many differences and share so many commonalities.  

In the privacy of a home garden or the solitude of a woodland pool, Great Blue Herons are stealthy, silent and patient.  They seem to move with grace and purpose and with slow motion movements that guarantee a tasty snack.  

That is not the case at GPF Maineville.  They are loud, argumentative, aggressive and impatient.  They haggle for prime territory, chase, squawk and bawl in the early spring morning.  And we all at Greenfield LOVE the SHOW.  

Here\\'s what piques my interest; the show, the production, the play of the herons and of the hellebores


 In my garden of thoughts, hellebores bring to me a quiet, sturdy promise that few other perennials dare.  When snow and ice threaten to delay the warming of soil and turf, hellebores begin to sing.  I hear them say "Sorry, your turn is over.  It's time for birth and growth, warmth and life."  They make to me the promise that I will garden again, during a time when winter seems to be lingering and winning.    

I can't stop myself from stepping outside and searching for any bud or shoot or sign of life.  I bend and kneel on muddy earth just to see a sign.  We all do it, us gardeners.  We search. We hunt.  

I chuckle to myself as I stand at the edge of our pond at Greenfield.  It's so funny to me how two of my favorite things choose to herald spring so uniquely.  

The loud honks sound above me and loyal, nodding heads make promises as my feet.  

For information on hellebores and/or growing hellebores, check out  Missouri Botanical Gardens   and this great article in State By State Gardening's Ohio Gardener Newsletter.