I forgot to plant Hellebores again!

To anyone gardening in a northern climate Hellebores are nothing short of amazing.  They bloom as early as late March and early April here in Zone 5b.  They are hardy plants that can tolerate temperature dips below freezing, and those all too frequent spring snowfalls. Unfortunately, like most outdoor plants, you can’t plant them in December when the ground is frozen. Otherwise, I would be out planting some right now.

Buy plants when you see them or else!

Actually, the opportunity to buy Hellebores is a lot shorter than the growing season here in the Northern Hemisphere. Despite being a perennial, they only seem to be readily available in garden stores in the spring.  Hellebores are buy no means the only plants in the horticulture trade that have a limited purchase window.

The short availability of many species of plant material has many consequences. In terms of consumer choice, gardeners that have the time & energy to visit the garden center every week will be exposed to a larger variety of plants than the person that visits once or twice a year. That is to say, gardeners that are in the market for Hellebores in September are likely to be disappointed. Contrast this with other retail shopping experiences, like buying fresh produce at the grocery store.  Thanks to refrigeration, and international trade, you can buy most things year round, regardless of whether or not they are in season locally.

Until someone invents a time machine, or a way to prolong optimal transplant times for plants, the only way gardeners can obtain plants like Hellebores is to buy them when they are available, no matter how short the time period. That being said, once a gardener has decided to buy a plant, retailers should make the sale, regardless of whether fulfillment is immediate, or at some point in the future, otherwise they stand to lose.

Did I mention I want to buy a Hellebore?

Matt

 

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