Wednesday, 18 March 2015


About fifteen years ago I began to notice that there were some beautiful dusky pinky-purple flowers blooming in front gardens at this time of year. I had no idea what they were called, and after a bit of research discovered that they were hellebores, and were actually the same thing as the Christmas or Lenten rose. You know how it is that once you've found out what something is you begin to notice it everywhere? Well they certainly did seem to be popular, and I was amazed that these stunning flowers had never featured on my plant-radar before.

They're a member of the buttercup family and their only drawback is that their flowers droop, so you have to bend down to photograph them when they're growing.

They're worth it, though. With an open goblet shape, their petals spread out in a graceful skirt, and they seed themselves very freely around the garden. From four original plants we now have many, and they vary in shade and markings, having cross-pollinated with each other. 

The white hellebores have a touch of green about them.

This photo's a little out of focus, but shows a half-open one with its stamens still closed together.

The stamens make the centre of a hellebore spectacular, in shades of greeny-yellow.

Some of the markings on the petals are wonderfully dappled in shades of deep plum and maroon.

They come in an infinite number of shades of dusky pinks and purples, some paler

and some much darker. I plan to buy a very dark hellebore one day - some are almost black and very dramatic.

The beautiful pure white ones really set off their more colourful cousins

But even they have tiny speckles around the centre. There's always a tinge of green about the pink and plum petals, a lovely combination.

I always pick a few blooms and display them floating in water, so that I can appreciate their beautiful centres.

They're such graceful, generous flowers and look as if they been hand-painted.

Now I love hellebores so much I can't imagine life, or my garden, without them.


  1. Stunning, aren't they. I was just thinking how nice they'd look floating and then you did just that :) Great minds eh :)

  2. They are very beautiful - I'll have to keep an eye out for some for our garden too. x

  3. Those flowers really are beautiful and it's such a shame that they droop and don't show off their glory. I think your idea of floating them in bowls, is brilliant and something I must try and remember should I ever get a garden!! Sx

  4. I love them! I like all their beautiful colors. In summer you can find seeds on each plants, like a star.

  5. Bounced from another blog to yours and I was delighted to look right back at your amazing photographs.. you are one talented photographer.. I love my hellebores to so pretty. Some gorgeous crochet and lovely mix of colours. I shall pop back to see you again!

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for dropping by, and for your kind comments. I do love taking photos, but there's nothing remotely technical about how I do it! I look forward to seeing you again :)
      Cathy x

  6. The detail on these flowers is so pretty! They do indeed look hand painted. I love the way you arranged them in the bowl.

  7. I never knew they were a member of the buttercup family. I love these flowers but seem to miss them as their heads are so shy :-) I love your idea of floating them in water - something to do this weekend for my flower displays. Have a wonderful evening xx

  8. Your hellebores are so pretty. I don't think I've ever seen then growing where I live so it's nice to have a chance to look at some.

  9. Wow they're lovely - I've never come across them before but now I'm going to keep an eye out! have a lovely weekend x

  10. These are stunning! I wonder if one could capture these in crochet flowers?!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  11. Funny you should say that, Anne - Lucy at Attic 24 has just made a wonderful hellebore pattern which I've been crocheting. I'll show you how they turned out in my next post :)
    Cathy x

  12. Hellebores are so lovely and yours look great, thanks for sharing your pictures

    All the best Jan


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