Envy struck again. (No, I am not immune; Yes, envy is often good, particularly if it improves Honey Brook Gardens. Back to the story)
In February of 2008. we toured Montrose Garden in Hillsborough, North Carolina to see Nancy Goodwin's winter garden. Now, she has 23 acres(!) and spends eight days per week and thirty hours a day in it, but still, we should be able to match some tiny part of it. Here are some inspirational pictures from Montrose Garden with crocus, hellebores, snowdrops, and something else. We were envious (did I already say that?)
Then a friend offered a class on "Making a Winter Garden." Fortuitous, don't you think? So, we attended. She showed us some of her favorites. The next day we went to Camellia Forest nursery and made them happy.
We already had Daphne odora, hardy cyclamen, and Camellia. Now we've added hellebores, Prunus mume (Japanese flowering apricot), primrose, a February blooming Camellia (Crimson Candles), and Edgeworthia. Many are wonderfully fragrant.
A deer resistant plant? After our first planting of Hellebores, we found a pile of leaves with the young stem gone! But that was it. I suppose that the leaves taste terrible. So far in eight years they have eaten only that one. (We didn't actually see the deer eat them, so maybe they aren't guilty.)