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first flower feature: hellebores

Emily Oster

I am introducing a new series today - flower feature. I have been doing a lot of informal research on flowers that might work in our garden so it seems only natural to share it here. As I have mentioned, there is so much to learn with gardening - varieties, growing conditions, soil composition, diseases, pruning practices etc. In my very early gardening career, I have relied heavily on the advice given at my local nursery and - Google. This first flower feature is a plant that was given on recommendation - hellebores.

I planted a type called 'ice follies' in a partial to primarily shade bed that also has lily of the valley and some hostas. Hellebores are perennial evergreen plants that are rather frost resistant, long blooming - typically early spring, and low maintenance. They can be grown in hardiness zones 6 to 9 and can tolerate full sun to full shade although they prefer partial shade. Sometime referred to as lenten roses, these flowers belong to the same family as the popular ranunculous. I selected this plant because of my shade conditions, wanting to add some color to this particular bed and the fact that it is an evergreen. One of the other really nice things about this plant is that it makes for a beautiful cut arrangement. Floret, a favorite gardening blog of mine, did a nice write up on best practices for cutting hellebore arrangements that you can read here. There are so many stunning varieties ,including lots of hybrids, that I definitely plan on adding more to our garden. Just look how pretty they are!

from top left: hellebores display via Floret - ivory prince variety via Plant Delight - ice follies variety via Conrad Art Glass & Garden - blue lady variety via VonBloem Gardens - source unknown - ivory prince bouquet via Once Wed - peppermint ice via Canadian Gardening -  picotee lady variety via Skagit Gardens

from top left: hellebores display via Floret - ivory prince variety via Plant Delight - ice follies variety via Conrad Art Glass & Garden - blue lady variety via VonBloem Gardens - source unknown - ivory prince bouquet via Once Wed - peppermint ice via Canadian Gardening -  picotee lady variety via Skagit Gardens