People who live in neighborhoods with sidewalks are so lucky. It’s easy to walk past area yards and gardens, and appreciate plantings that might otherwise be ignored by driving past at 30 miles an hour. So I enjoy visiting in places where sidewalks provide safe places to walk and view the houses and landscaping. It’s always easy to tell when you are passing by a yard where the residents obviously love plants.
When walking in my son’s neighborhood in Pennsylvania I commented on one such property. “Someone who lives here loves plants,” I said, the first time I saw it. There were plantings of shrubs that most homeowners might overlook: native oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) and summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) for example, and under-shrub plantings of Epimedium. But it was the Lenten roses, (Helleborus orientalis) which are not really roses but perennials commonly called hellebores, that caught my attention in March. I’m now going to call this property “Hellebore House.”