Every fall stores try to entice buyers with bags of bulbs. Some bulbs are familiar; daffodils and tulips or crocuses, but other are less familiar. Iris reticulata is one of those bulbs. A small bulb, they usually come in little nets of 10 or 25 bulbs. There is a pretty picture on the label attached to the bag, which gives a little bit of information about the plant. It tells you how deep to plant the bulb, where (sunny spot), how close together and what type of soil is preferred.
Corylus Avellana 'contorta'
Corylus Avellana 'contorta' is just a fancy way of saying contorted hazelnut. Now here is a shrub that looks better without leaves than with them, allowing you to see the branches growing in every direction, spiraling this way and that.
Hellebores or Lenten Rose
A definite favorite of mine is a perennial called hellebores, also known as the Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose. As the common names imply, these plants bloom early. Some can bloom as early as January, although most will present their flowers in March and April.