Hellebores are Blooming, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: New

Here’s what’s new in the garden: the upward-facing hellebores (aka lenten roses) I planted last spring are blooming …

Hellebores, aka Lenten Roses

They started out white in late December, and shaded to rose.

They surprised me by coming out about a month earlier than my standard hellebores, which are just now budding. That may not be a good thing: we’re expecting temperatures in the teens tonight. It’s too windy to cover them, so we’ll see how tough the blooms are.

Hellebores bloom early in the year when not much else does, keep their blooms for months, and their foliage year round.  They’re advertised to be deer-proof, an attribute I hadn’t paid much attention to until I saw Bambi wander through the back yard a few weeks ago. Plus, they self sow, so if you have a few years to invest, they’re not only a beautiful and sustainable ground-cover, they’re easy to propagate (and, don’t climb the trees or stage hostile take-overs like English ivy).

I’m going to be careful to pull the mulch back when the seeds form, so they can take root and make new hellebores next year. Here’s what the standard downward-facing hellebores look like after the blooms have been out a few weeks. This photo is from March of a previous year —

Hellebores in March

Standard hellebores: you can see the seed pods starting to form. They really are downward-facing, but they don’t look it because they’re uphill from my camera.

And here are some seedlings— it’ll be another year or two before they’re big enough to bloom.

Hellebore seedlings

New baby hellebores (and a soon to bloom rose-colored bud)

I have some of the standard hellebores available for pass-along. If you live close by and are interested, let me know.

Someday I’ll make it to Piccadilly Farm’s Hellebore Days. Who could resist an address on Whippoorwill Road?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: New

More on Piccadilly Farm.

12 thoughts on “Hellebores are Blooming, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: New

  1. If I lived close by, I’d come over to have a look. I’ve never seen hellebores, or these kinds of roses before. Hope they are strong enough to stand the weather, and Bambi doesn’t get too near (how friendly of him to wander by, though). The downside to having such light and delicate flowers in the yard is that they can’t withstand extreme temperatures – winds, scorching suns, storms…

    But maybe the flowers bloomed early because they were excited for the new year 🙂

    • These flowers are tougher than they look, since they always bloom in the middle of winter, but last night was colder than usual. So, we’ll see. The pansies withstand really cold temps and they’re, well, “pansies”. I really like the thought that the plants are excited to greet the new year. I like reading your blog and thinking about how warm it is on the other side of the world — Sandy

      • Flowers are always tougher than they look, aren’t they? I sincerely hope the pansies turn out okay later in the season. Maybe spring is just around the corner for you, you never know. Early spring.

        It is quite warm here in Australia. But it’s raining a lot this week and it’s quite cool. Hopefully the water doesn’t drown the plants.

      • Would you believe there have been school closings just because it’s been so cold? We rode the school bus when I was in high school (in a colder part of the country) and I remember riding through snowdrifts on country roads. I think it had to snow a foot or two for us to get a day off school. Too bad I didn’t take pictures.
        Now – I sound like a grandma and I don’t have any grandkids!

      • I’ve heard about school closings in the States when it gets “snowed in”. That must be a good and bad thing – good that kids and teachers get the day off, but bad that it’s hard to get around and it’s dangerous doing so. I don’t think any flowers or plants can survive in that kind of weather.

        I am sure it will snow heavily at some point where you are and you can take some photos and show them to us 🙂

      • I have lots of snow-photos from 2013 Christmas in the midwest, when the snowplow came by and dumped extra snow on my rental car. (oh, and we always looked forward to snow days: more time for sledding)

  2. I too love Hellebores and the ones I planted three years ago are still only putting out a few leaves. Maybe this spring….which doesn’t arrive her until late March….

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