If you are unfamiliar with a hellebore, then you are in for a real treat. This is one of the earliest blooming perennials in our gardens here in southern Ontario – and they are fabulous! In the studio, we often purchase potted hellebores as opposed to cut ones for two reasons: we can cut them when we need them and therefore they as less perishable; and once they are all cut up we get to plant these beauties in our gardens! Self –serving?? You bet!
Hellebores are easy perennials to grow. They love the shade, preform best in nutrient rich soil, are draught resistant as well as heat and humidity tolerant and did I mention that they are really pretty? It isn’t uncommon for a hellebore to bloom while there are still remnants of snow lingering in the garden. A heavenly harbinger of spring, the hellebore bloom can last up to three months.
Although a potted hellebore can cost more than the average potted plant in a flower shop (approx. $20-$30 for a 6” pot), it is certainly worth the money, particularly if your have the garden space. Keep your eyes open for really cool varieties of this flower as they are available in solid colours as well as speckled and streaked patterns. And here’s a tip if you decide that you’d like to cut them up and use them in a vase: wait to cut them once the stamen in the center disappear and a small raised “knob” or “button” forms – they will last for weeks at this stage.