This is my annual look-at-the-pretty-floating-hellebores post. They’re the first perennial to bloom, and as such, have a special place in the spring garden (and in my heart — I adore them). They bloom here from March through May.
The leaves will stay nice and green all through ’til winter. They’re happiest in part-shade (and are perfect to plant under trees), but they’re hardy, and will survive in a wide range of growing conditions — and as a bonus, they’re deer-resistant too.
Since hellebore blooms tend to be mostly downward-facing, the best way to enjoy their diverse glory is to gather a bloom from each plant and set them floating in a bowl of water (in this case, a shallow copper dish from Gardener’s Supply). If you have a hillside or raised beds, you can also use elevation to enjoy the blooms more visibly on the plant.
Hellebores are expensive — I tend to buy one a year. But once you have some that are about 3-5 years old, they should be big enough that you can start dividing and trading them with other gardeners. The divisions will bloom a little less the next year, of course, but over time, you can build up a lot of diversity this way.
At this point, I think I have enough light pink, dark pink, green and peach ones to make me happy — I could use a few more whites, though.
More about hellebores: https://www.gardendesign.com/flowers/hellebores.html