Plant of the Week: Helleborus

It feels strange to be writing about a Christmas rose, or Hellebore, when the weather is getting so much sunnier and everywhere I look there are daffodils but I wanted to use this opportunity to praise one of the most beautiful flowers that starts off the year for the keen flower-spotter.

Hellebores seem to spring out from nowhere. You can be looking out of your window or walking through your local park or simply on your route to work one week and see nothing but green. The following week you can look at the same space and suddenly you can see these pinky purple lanterns that look like an ancient flower that an apothecary might have used.

What I like about hellebores is they can be wild but they can grow in your garden too. They are perennials which means they grow, flower, die off then come back again the following year. They are also called hardy plants which means they can tolerate cold weather and are pretty resistant to disease.

I remember my first experience with hellebores I didn’t know any of the above information, I just bought them because they looked pretty. It snowed towards the end of February and they looked really sad. They started to droop and I was worried they would die so I brought them inside to warm up and I could almost see them gaining their height again. The online gardening community assured me they were fine and to leave them outside. My biggest regret was leaving it behind in my old house!

Have you seen any hellebores in your garden or local area? They seem very popular with florists this year I have noticed.

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