The flowers last a long time in the garden and, if you treat them right by putting the ends of the stems in boiling water, they last a long time in the vase as well. Always a plus!
Hellebores either have single or semi-double flowers and most are evergreen. Many of them hang their heads so you have to turn the flower up to appreciate it's beauty. This is what some people find a bore. Personally I like turning their little faces upwards because sometimes it's surprising what kind of antics they've been up to as far as the interior markings are concerned. And nowadays there are Hellebores to be had that don't have droopy heads so problem (if there ever was one) solved! It's such fun to buy several Hellebores orientalis in many kinds of colours and markings, pop them in the ground in a shady place and then sit back and enjoy the show. Before you know it, you'll find little baby plants all over the place and everyone of them unique!
Personally I give the Helleborus niger (aka Christmas rose) a miss as I found them to be unreliable. Tried them several times but they died on me and here they don't even flower at Christmas time. Bummer!
The orientalis (aka Lenten rose) on the other hand are strong and come back year after year. So give them a try!
BTW these pictures are of my garden, taken in March 2006.
copyright 2007 Y.E.W.Heuzen
A strong element of experimentation is essential to the happiness of any enquiring gardener. Christopher Lloyd