Yes, they’re free, and yes, there’s a catch. Barry Glick and the staff at Sunshine Farm and Gardens breed hellebores, the fanciest fancy-pants hellebores you ever saw. And before they can sell them, they have to name them. Just to make things interesting, they have an ongoing Hellebore Naming Contest. You look over the candidates, and submit what you think is an appropriate name of no more than two words. If they decide to market that hellebore, and if they use your name, they will send you a free 4-inch pot of the hellebore you named. Such a deal. All right: yet another way to waste time on the internet. But it might yield you a free plant.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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