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Sunday Morning in the Garden

A Rose by any other name...

And so, it’s Sunday in the garden. Actually, I’m not in my garden but rather at my kitchen table watching the clouds darken and creep closer. It’s dreary and sprinkling and I’ve taken the easy path of a coffee at the table with my journal accepting random thoughts and pertinent plant information.  So what’s with the title? Perhaps the Bard never knew about the Christmas Rose or is it the Lenten Rose?

Someone gifted white Hellebores to me last year.  They knew the plants were hellebores but they didn’t know what type except they thought they were white. Into my white garden located in front of the solarium in the kitchen they went. I waited to see if indeed I had a Christmas Rose which could bloom in late winter (although the snow cover this year could have deterred the Magi from stirring).

When nothing appeared, I surprised then that I must have a Lenten Rose. I hoped the extreme cold had not killed the young plants. They did not disappoint. 10 days before Easter the flowers appeared. How lovely they looked amid the twigs and promise of Spring to come.

If you have the good fortune to be gifted pre-blooming Hellebores don't concern yourself with whether you have a Christmas Rose of a Lenten Rose. Both are delightful. And by the way, Hellebores isn't even in the Rose family...it's in the Buttercup family, So, a rose by any other name could be a ranunculus or columbine.

Now in the scheme of writing mysteries and looking for red herrings to tuck into the plot, how interesting to take a page from the Hellebores family. Per chance the readers are led to believe that a character belongs to a 'family' that would behave in a certain manner. In reality that character's 'stock' is from different roots. One could learn much about devious means from meandering through a garden. Take the weed that mimics the plant next to it, hoodwinking the gardener into believing all is well until the weed outstrips its struggling neighbor and have that Ah Ha moment immediately followed by Oh No moment.

Any gardeners experience that bait and switch? Works for mystery writers and it's much easier to obliterate the 'weed' on the page! 

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