Lenten hellebores and daffodils are among the first flowers to bloom at Hollister House. Contrary to what I was told when I first started to garden, I have found that daffodils love moist soil, even if it gets a bit soggy in the winter. It’s amazing what the hybridizers have done with Helleborus X orientalis, the Lenten rose. There are now wonderful splashy doubles and exciting new colors. I’m especially fond of the pale yellows and near blacks. The pity is that hellebores are very difficult to propagate by division, which means that unless you are willing to pay through the nose, the plants you buy will be a color strain grown from seed, instead of a true cultivar. Once or twice I have shelled out the big bucks for a particularly tempting variety but it turns out that my favorite plants are from seed strains, purchased quite reasonably.