The flowers of spring, much like the season itself, tend to be brief and ephemeral – beautiful but over and gone again quickly. A spring storm or late cold snap can shorten their stay even further. But one there is one that arrives early and stays late, enduring cold, heat and critters, gracefully contributing to the garden until the depths of winter.
In the past few years hellebores have become one of my favorites. Admittedly, my list of favorite flowers is pretty long, as in whatever-is-in-bloom long, but hellebores are special – they are the first perennial to bloom in my yard, the flowers fade gracefully, remaining lovely for weeks and weeks and the leathery foliage stays green and fresh until covered by snow. Maintenance is very simple – cut off the dead leaves in late winter. That’s it. That and take time to admire the sophisticated, dusky colors and forms.