Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Lenten Rose, or Slowly Lengthening into Spring

Post 27


Slowly lengthening into spring,
Warm-up days, cooled by night,
Dream for me that everything's
Just waiting now for new delight--

(what never was before its since,)
Hence here a brace of bawdy hints.

For what if all did best resolve,
Even past just human hope,
Could any really hope to cope
With the life they would evolve,

And bring a faith to resurrection
Beyond both fear and false projection?


Merry truth must think it strange
How easily perceptions change,
So as this Lent brings us the sun,
--Let's look to see how we have done.

               Flowers only thrive where Nature
         With the Gardener does concur,
When life bestirs us, Spirit proves us,
As we chose a better view.

Newly brought into the light...
Dearly bought, and eagerly sought,
Longingly and lovingly wrought,
Now here in time, by time begot.


How to Hellebore: The top two pictures are of Lenten rose, or Helleborus orientalis or hybrids of. The top picture is in my neighbor's yard, the second in my own. This plant, which eats semi-shade for breakfast and, once established, may be able to compete with your tree roots for water, comes in shades of red, burgundy, pink, white, greenishy-yellowey and a subtly spectacular greyed lavender slate.  It blooms, in a typical year, in March (and because the flowers are really septals, can persist through June.)  The old fashioned ones have hanging heads and therefore look good planted on a rise so you can look up towards them. These also reseed readily. Newer hybrids can be more upfacing. 

They need only some shade, decent soil of a moderate pH, and some water. The only care they need is to have a haircut in late winter-spring, when their evergreen leaves turn tawdry. Leave the flowers on the plant and watch the seed pods swell into summer. Soon you will have babies. This is a plant that can be expensive to buy but is so worth it. It is a doer that will not let you down.

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