Joy in the delayed spring garden

For years I admired these odd but cheerful-looking flowers in other people’s gardens. Out on my run, I’d think, “I wonder what kind of plant that is? I’d love to have one in my garden.” They were sometimes the only blooming plant in winter gardens, and they burst forth with greater vigor in early spring.

Last year, a friend posted on Facebook a picture of some of them blooming in her garden, calling them by name. Thanks to her, I finally knew what to look for at my local nursery: Lenten Roses.


One of my first Lenten Roses (Hellebore). Its profusion of blooms makes me happy.

I bought two last spring to plant in a new garden bed my husband was building around our lacebark elm tree. And I bought four more this fall. They’re all growing, and that brings me great joy. I’m already planning where I’ll add more, but I just missed a sale at my favorite nursery, and they’re not the cheapest plants to buy. Plus, it has been too darn cold to spend a lot of time outside digging in the dirt just yet.

A message on one of the plants from the fall has really stuck with me: Will self-sow where happy. Isn’t that true of us humans, too? Don’t we sow more seeds of happiness where we are happiest? We like to stick around in those places of happiness and visit them again in our memories. Continue reading