One of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring and also one of the most beautiful is the Helleborus. Native to Greece, we now have a wide selection of garden varieties to choose from.
With evergreen foliage the hellebore can also make an attractive ground cover. A very strong, resilient plant it prefers a fertile well drained soil in partial or full shade and a yearly topping of fresh mulch.
Tough as nails, helleborus blooming in the snow. ( Photos compliments of Our Fairfield Home and Garden). You can propagate by division of the roots in spring (after blooming) or by seeds sown in spring or autumn. If you’re lucky they will self seed themselves around the mother plant.
Helleborus come in many attractive colors including white, cream, pink, green, rose, purple, yellow and dark plum. Some varieties are spotted maroon or crimson. Flowers are saucer shaped and nodding with two or three on each stem. There are both single and double flowered cultivars.
Remove old foliage as it browns off to keep the plant tidy. Water deeply in dry weather and keep a lookout for slugs if they are a problem in your garden. Hardy to zone 3, the helleborus is an excellent northern garden perennial.