Weep For Me, Lenten Rose


This is the Lenten Rose, Latin name Helleborus. When we first moved into our home, I plopped this into the backyard bed, almost out of a mandatory obligation that one must have at least one Lenten Rose to welcome the spring, but the fact was I had never even seen this plant in person before the blind purchase. For several years, I was unimpressed. The evergreen foliage didn’t fare well in our Northeastern winters, looking ratty and half-dead at the turn of March. It took a year or two before I had the balls to whack off the most decimated leaves and allow the plant to rejuvenate, but once I learned its resilience it made a much better show of things, finally deigning to bloom about five years after planting.

While the blooms are welcome, they are sometimes damaged by the late-winter snows we usually get. Another issue is the way they are held on the stem: drooping downward. It’s more pronounced after the frequent April rains, so unless you’re willing to perform ground-level acrobatics, it’s difficult to get a good view, and a good photo. Since I don’t like manipulating the flowers I find in the garden for photographic purposes, it makes it tough to get a decent shot, but you get the idea. There’s a different type of charm that comes from a rose when it weeps.

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