The days are short, nights are long and most days here in Pittsburgh tend to be cloudy, rainy or snowy.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!  We all are craving for the longer days of spring and summer and are counting the days until we can get out into the garden again. There are two harbingers of spring just about to start the show here in the Pittsburgh area.

The Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose (Helleborus species) is a wonderful perennial that should be a staple in all gardens.  Its evergreen foliage providing substance in the garden during the winter season; holding well throughout the winter season.  Multitudes of white, purple, reddish, pink and/or speckled blossoms begin to appear very early in the year, at times even through the snow.

Resistant to both deer and voles, they are long-lived and provide wonderful blossoms at a time when flowers are a scarce in the garden.



The other plant with remarkable winter interest are the many cultivars of Witch Hazel (Hammamelis vernalis).

Blossoming as early as February in the Pittsburgh area, they bear very fragrant, yellow, orange to burgundy blossoms appearing on bare, leafless stems.  Most can get rather large; easily 10-12 feet high and wide so give them room.  Once you see Witch Hazel blooming you know spring is getting close.


If the gloomy days of winter are wearing on you, think of introducing either or both of these terrific plants into your landscape.  They will brighten up any garden.

Eichenlaub can help you with your landscape architectural planning, planting and other installation needs; just give us a call or send an email to set up an appointment to meet with one of our consultants.

Contact us if you have any further questions.

– Kevin Anthony Prall