Flowers in January?

Helleborus spp.

It’s hard to believe that anything in our Miami Valley gardens would be thinking about growing let alone blooming in January yet a stroll around the garden proved just that. Today’s spotlight is on the plucky group of perennials in the Helleborus genus which are also known as Hellebores or the Lenten Rose.

If the perk of having something bloom in your garden in late winter/early spring isn’t enough to entice growing these beauties, perhaps knowing that many of the cultivars have leathery, evergreen foliage will. The Hellebores are truly a sight for sore eyes on a day like today!

Educational Opportunities

Montgomery County Master Gardener Classes Gear Up

Do you love to garden?  Would you like to learn new skills and meet others who share your horticultural interests? Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012 Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.  Classes meet every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 6 through May 8, 2012, at the extension office at Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1001 South Main Street, Dayton.

Training provides 50 hours of classroom instruction provided by OSU professors, county extension agents and other experts.  Topics cover a broad range of subjects, including plant propagation, herbaceous and woody ornamentals, trees and lawns, soils and fertilizers, fruits and vegetables, herbs, pest management and more.

Participants must attend one of several volunteer orientation sessions scheduled for February 7 – 9, 2012.  They also must pass a background check before entering the program and volunteer 50 hours of horticultural service to the community after completing the classroom instruction to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer.  The class fee is $150.

For more information, please contact Clare Thorn, Program Assistant, Horticulture, at (937) 224-9654.  Applications and other required forms are available on line at www.montgomery.osu.edu.  The deadline for application is January 30, 2012.

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