During this cold time of year blooms are few and far between. The ones that grace us in winter are that much more spectacular. One of our favorites are the hellebores. Hellebores are evergreen perennials that bloom throughout the winter and early spring. They are also known by the common names lenten rose & Christmas rose although they are completely unrelated to the rose family. They are by far a favorite of the winter plants!
Native to Europe, hellebores have adapted well to North American gardens and have quickly risen to a favorite for the perennial garden. Not only do they provide much needed flower color in winter, the rest of the year they provide beautiful, dark-green, foliage in the shade garden. Hellebore leaves are handsome, leathery and shiny. Flowers come in shades of white, pale yellow, purple, maroon, and pink, some with contrasting splotches or edges. Blooms are resistant to frost and last for months.
Hellebores should be planted in shade with rich, moist, well-draining soil. They are easy going and can even be grown in container gardens. Hellebores are deer resistant, making them a perfect addition to the woodland garden. They work wonderfully planted alongside hosta, evergreen ferns, astilbe, heuchera, heucherella, tiarella and other shade loving plants. In warmer months a hellebore will provide a nice contrast to the other foliage plants and in winter, it will take center stage!