Garden Photo of the Day

Kevin’s Hellebore Collection

An assortment of one of the toughest, most beautiful spring blooms

I am Kevin Kelly, and I garden on a suburban property (one-third acre) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b). I have been gardening here for 25 years since we had the house built on a vacant lot. My wife is the cheerleader but otherwise has no interest in our outdoor space, except to remind me that I buy too many plants. Today I wanted to focus on some of the many hellebores (Helleborus species and hybrids, Zones 4–9) that dot the landscape. I love them because they are deer resistant and bring much-needed color in March and April. I hope you enjoy a few from my collection.

Helleborus Ivory PrinceThis looks like one of the newer sterile hellebore hybrids (perhaps the variety Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’, Zones 4–9), which boasts an over-the-top profusion of flowers.

warm coppery helleboreA warm coppery bloom, with delicate spots of darker colors in the throat.

pale pink helleboreThis pale pink hellebore looks so delicate that it is hard to believe it is one of the most durable perennials you can grow, laughing at deer and cold temperatures alike.

pale yellow helleboreHellebore flowers reward those who take the time to get up close to enjoy their details, as does this soft, pale yellow bloom painted with purple at its heart.

double pink helleboreA double pink, with layers of extra petals.

flower with ruffled white petalsWhat an incredible bloom, with layer after layer of ruffled white petals!

hellebore white with purple specklesWhite with purple speckles is a classic hellebore pattern. It is found on some the very first hybrids widely introduced and is still just as beautiful and enjoyable in the garden.

hellebores planted in a containerA hellebore loaded with blooms shows off in a container. Growing these perennials in containers is a great way to lift them up to where you can easily enjoy their blooms up close.

hellebore flower in the sunlightA hellebore flower backlit by the sun.

sun shining on a hellebore flowerClearly Kevin is not only a great gardener, but a photographer as well! I love the way the veins on the leaves in this image seem to glow with the sunlight behind them.

 

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Comments

  1. Sunshine111 04/30/2021

    Lovely to see Kevin. I especially like the white ruffled double bloom and the pink backlit photo! 💜💜💜

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I am pretty sure the white one is from the Wedding Party Series, and is called 'Wedding Bells'

  2. Garden1953 04/30/2021

    I too love hellebores, and yours are all gorgeous! I especially love the white with purple speckles one and the one in the container is spectacular!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I often put new purchases in a container. Since the plants are smaller, they display better that way. They go into the ground in October after they have had a good growing season.

  3. gardendevas 04/30/2021

    Thanks for sharing, Kevin! Gorgeous blooms and photos. I am inspired to get more of these!

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      I love hellebores. Such a great way to get out of winter. While they take few years to really show off, I love putting my new purchases in containers in a mixed planting. Their size fits well. I then put them in the ground in October. Such an easy plant to care for, and no deer worries!

  4. User avater
    SimpleSue 04/30/2021

    You sure have a great collection of Hellebores! Wow I sure love your "double pink, with layers of extra petals".
    I found a rather ordinary one suddenly growing in the pachysandra, maybe a seed dropped by a bird...It's the third year it's been there now and doing well, and bloomed for the first time this spring.
    Your collection shows how many fabulous varieties there are!
    Wish I knew the name of your "double pink, with layers of extra petals"- just gorgeous!

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I have over 25 different cultivars, and for some reason, never labelled them. I have labels for many of my other plants. I know I have bought a number of hellebores in the Wedding Party Series (which are doubles). Check out 'Best Man'. It looks close, and I have a receipt for that one.

  5. Katherine_8 04/30/2021

    Those are all so beautiful, Kevin!! Such variety of colour and single/double bloom!! Great job :)

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I love hellebores as a bridge from winter to spring. Many are still looking good.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/30/2021

    Great to see you here, Kevin. Love seeing all these especially since on the pc I can enlarge them. Have you already shared many of these on Shared Garden Visions?

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      I have shared most of them there. This was my first time back on GPOD since the formation of SGV.

  7. coastalgardener 04/30/2021

    I've been gardening for over 70 years, but I've never grown hellebores. After seeing your beauties though, they are definitely on my purchase list for next year. Your collection is absolutely exquisite! I especially love that double pink one.

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. It is never too late. Hellebores are a wonderful bridge from winter to spring. Since the "flowers" are actually bracts, they retain their color for months. Mine colored up around late February, and are just beginning to fade now. No pests eat them. Only care is to cut off the old foliage in early February, before new flowers/foliage push up for the year.

  8. moyra_b 04/30/2021

    So beautiful! What do you do with the hellebores in planters when the winter comes? Do they survive being left outside? I love that idea, and it seems a perfect solution to being able to admire those beautiful blooms.

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      They are great for containers as long as you have well drained soil. They are hardy to zone 4, so in my 6b garden, I can leave them in containers. Because they retain their leaves throughout the winter, I keep the container hellebores in a wind protected spot, and then move the plants to their display spot when in bloom. One advantage in a container, is that you can have the container in full sun while the hellebores are blooming (since it is later winter/early spring), and then give them afternoon shade for the duration of the year.

      1. BTucker9675 04/30/2021

        I had never considered hellebores in containers but am definitely doing it now! Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous photos and the beautiful varieties.

        1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

          My pleasure. Hope you give them a try in containers.

      2. moyra_b 04/30/2021

        thank you!

  9. ToweringPines 04/30/2021

    Thanks for sharing, your hellebores and photography are superb. Hope you will continue with GPOD, they have been doing a great job.

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I was a regular back in 2015-2017. Looking to submit more in the future. If you search Kevin Kelly, you will see the older posts.

  10. maryannborcherding 04/30/2021

    I too love Hellebores and grow many different varieties here in Vancouver WA. For the last few years I've been planting mine in containers too, nothing like taking photos on your belly and knees, elevated container are much better. Nice to see different varieties from our Pacific coast growers.

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. It is much each easy to enjoy the flowers in containers.

  11. Schatzi 04/30/2021

    Hellebores are wonderful! All they need is shade and a bit of water. Deer-proof and slug-proof except for the occasional flower. I never cared much for the original green one, but the new cultivars are absolutely habit forming. I must have over 70 by now! The earliest ones like Jacob start blooming around the end of November here is Western WA, but the main bloom is January thru March or April. The singles, doubles, bicolors and the range of colors are mesmerizing. And the clumps get larger every year. It is so nice to have something blooming in the winter. Love 'em! And your pictures are gorgeous.

    1. imajayhawk 04/30/2021

      Thanks. I have also been planting them in sunnier locations, as long as they are shaded by another plant in the afternoon. They sure are great, trouble free plants.

  12. PerenniallyCrazy 05/03/2021

    Incredible Kevin! What is the name of the ruffled white hellebore? It'll be on my wishlist. Thanks.

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