Woman with trowel: Early pretty little things


Cyclamen coum. Photo credit: M. Brehaut

Cyclamen coum. Photo credit: M. Brehaut

Can you feel it? Spring is coming. Everyone has signs that one looks for, signs that indicate the end of winter and the appreciated hint of another season of sun and warmth. My husband looks for the light. “Can’t you see it?” he asks me – it looks like yesterday’s light to me. But my early pretty little things, these I notice. They start coming up and I start hoping for spring.


Some helebores are in bloom now, with others just ready to open up. In the height of summer, perhaps they would be ignored but at this time of year, their blooms are a shock of delight to me, amid the browns and dull greens. I have found some to be reluctant to do well, while others seem happy to thrive. Heleborus ‘Ivory Prince’ has proven to be content to grow and bloom. In contrast, I planted three Heleborus ‘Mrs Betty Ranicar’, a white double form, and all quickly died away. Such is the risk of gardening. At some point, you just have to try a plant and see what happens. I enjoy the successes more than I mourn the losses.

Hepatica nobilis x orenatiloba x marmorata. Photo credit: M. Brehaut

Hepatica nobilis x orenatiloba x marmorata. Photo credit: M. Brehaut

Cyclamen coum is in flower for me now, and its pink looks opulent next to the green of snowdrop leaves and the dark straps of my black mondo grass. My eyes are drawn to them as I walk down the lane. That pink is not my favorite level of saturation but I love it in February.

I have a couple of hepaticas, and tell myself to get more. They are a plant that does well in a smaller pot. This helps me, as I move them up to the sunny deck in February for the extra light so they can bloom, then move them back to the shade for the rest of the season. Generally, I go for big pots as they require less maintenance but small ones make it easier for me to move these gems around as their needs dictate.

My early pretty little things are special to me, as they have the stage to themselves. In June, there will be an explosion of bloom and perhaps offerings will be missed or not given their proper adulation. But at this time of year, each bloom gets adored.

I will be doing a plant raffle next time, so stay tuned. I’ll ask a question, you leave a comment and your name goes in the hat. I’m off now, to go find a nice plant…

Last modified: February 27, 2013

2 Responses to " Woman with trowel: Early pretty little things "

  1. Roberta King says:

    Thanks for the cheering article. My friend and I were wandering around 6th and Collingwood, getting pumped up about spring coming by seeing a lot of neon white snowdrops in the gardens along the way.

  2. Joanne Smith says:

    I enjoyed your colourful, enthusiastic blog