It all started a few years back when I saw a chip of Martha Stewart’s Hellebore paint. A green tint like I had never seen while I was choosing colors for our new home. I was in love. It was natural, far from garish like some greens can be and it was sweet. I heard that Martha who, whether you like her or not, does have some darn good taste had the color made to match the petal of a Hellebore flower. Sometimes known as the Lenten Rose, a rose like I have never seen and frankly doesn’t look like a rose at all, is one of the first plants to bloom in late February. I planted them years ago. Mine are now a hardy plant that I look forward to seeing every year.
The early bloom was a very good thing especially this year. Once a year, I invite my old neighbors to a special “ladies” lunch at my home. You see eight years ago I moved (one mile away) and my neighbors were very angry at me. “We will never see you!” they hollered. “You are moving so far. Our kids grew up on this block, how can you move?” they complained. “We used to hang out all the time, you are a traitor, our relationship will never be the same again!” they threatened. I assured them that once a year I would have them to my new house. They walked away in disbelief that this rhetoric of good faith would never happen. Well it did. Hell it did. For eight years these ten or so ladies have come to my house at the first sign of Spring for a lunch lovingly prepared, for the most part by their Benedict Arnold. They arrived last weekend with snow still on the ground and no outdoor furniture to sit on and sneak a little sun with our coats still on. We eat, we partake in some wine and we have a great time catching up on our lives. This year while I was setting the table, the tiny Hellebores came to my mind. I bought some small glass Ball Jars and went out and cut the new growth and centered them on the table with some pine I also cut in the yard. It worked. I spent not a dime on flowers and yet these little ones gave just a little special nod to my friends.