Februrary 14, 2014
A Great Perennial- Look what is happening to Hellebores.
“If you have shade, plant a hellebore”. Unless you find them terribly unattractive, I can’t think of a single reason why they would not be included in your garden, anywhere from zones 3-8. The common Lenten rose, Helleborus orientalis, has been a garden mainstay for many years and it is still fabulous. Plants can act as groundcovers and persist for years - if you haven’t tried hellebores, start with this one. And there are plenty of choices of this plant coming your way all the time.
However, recent breeding has stabilized colors and forms and plants are now available whose flowers are upward or outward facing, reducing the need to bend down to see the flowers. This is excellent for old knees and backs. These new plants are wonderfully handsome and very early to flower. In fact, they can be bought in garden centers in February, enjoyed inside for weeks and planted outdoors when the weather warms up.
They will not reseed thus they will not be as good a “ground cover” as the older forms, but oh my, they are pretty.
My favorite: My favorite is ‘Pink Frost’ because of its deep colors, persistence, flower power and availability. Many other excellent cultivars are available (‘Champion’, ‘Mahogony Snow’) from the Great Garden Centers on my App.
More info: Photos of many cultivars, hints for success and even videos are available on my App (search App store, type “armitage”). Works on iOS and Androids. Or check out my online classes and join me in the pursuit of learning.