Floral Focus: Hellebore

Hellebore Anna's Red




Hellebores really are fabulous. They pretend to be shy, unassuming plants, but, up close, the flowers are astonishing. Their bright, often-spotted petals are in fact really ‘sepals’ which are the tough outer coating of flower bud, with the petals themselves reduced to tiny, often bright green nectaries in the centre. You can see them in the photos above. Because hellebores flower really early in the Spring (Helleborus niger is also called ‘Christmas Rose ‘, demonstrating how early some are to arrive) they’re a really important source of food for the bees at this time of year and so definitely worth their place in any garden.

Happily, they’re also easy to grow, living relatively problem-free on most soils and not requiring huge amounts of special attention. These ones are all grown in pots, but I’ve also grown hellebores in raised beds and in not-so-great soil in shady conditions and they’ve all thrived. They don’t like poor drainage, so if you have very soggy soil, it’s worth tackling that, but they do like the shade, even if that’s provided by other taller plants rather than trees. These potted hellebores are kept in a shady corner of the garden, and are doing nicely.

Once you start developing an interest in this beautiful flower, you’ll start to realise how many varieties and hybrids there are to collect, many with striking colours and spots. They make great cut flowers or you can float the flower heads in a shallow, wide bowl of water for a stunning table display. They’re one of my absolute favourite flowers and I’m very happy to say that they will still be flowering for a while yet…

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?


27 Responses to Floral Focus: Hellebore

  1. I must admit this is the first year that I’ve really noticed Hellibores and I love them – love your clear shots of them too! Thank you for joining in sweet cheeks xx

  2. Claudia says:

    i am not too familiar with them but they really look beautiful and so delicate

  3. I’ve never had much luck wi them as we have clay soil, but I’d not thought of trying them in pots for some reason. I do like my container gardening. Lovely images.. #hdygg

  4. oh these are Beautiful! I particularly love the colours of the 2nd picture down from the top #HDYGG

  5. Every Thursday my eyes are treated with pretty and mazing photos of flowers and blooms such as this one. Its always a joy! #HDYGG

  6. Beautiful – I had several Christmas Rose plantsbwhen I lived in UK.

  7. i love hellebores i have them over my garden that i put there i just love that they are one of the first plants to say hello after the winter and have real staying power for the garden

  8. Hellebores are fabulous flowers, love them! Saw some the other day funnily enough albeit not in my garden! Nice to find you blog (through #HDYGG)

  9. Jenni says:

    I just adore hellebores. I had no idea what they were until the end of last year when I saw them on gardeners world. ((How embarassing). Now I have two plants in my front garden, and like you say, I love them so much for providing some much needed interest early in the year.
    Jenni recently posted…April FlowersMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      They’re great for early colour, aren’t they? And, I learn something every time I watch Gardeners World too! 🙂

  10. I love Hellebores – so beautiful, yet so tough. Your #HDYGG is much prettier than mine this week!
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault recently posted…A Bit of a Squash?My Profile

  11. Charmaine says:

    they’re very striking, I love the colour of the top one! It’s good to know that bees like them, I’ll add them to the list for next year! x
    Charmaine recently posted…building raised bedsMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! Yes they’re good for bees, as long as you don’t choose double varieties as it’s harder for the bees to get to the nectar then 🙂

  12. Katie says:

    Lovely Hellebores! I noticed some creatures on mine this week, but hoping it’s not too big of a deal and I’m leaving them to it!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh goodness! I hope they don’t get eaten. I wonder what they are? Never seen bugs on mine. I shall keep my fingers crossed for you 🙂

  13. I agree! We have hellebores in our garden, always the first to flower in spring. And, they are so pretty! Beautiful photos
    Emma Greenwood recently posted…Brothers and SistersMy Profile

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