flowers, garden, winter gardening

The Hellebores Survived!

About a year ago, I wrote about my discovery of hellebores.  I ordered a couple from Spring Hill Nurseries, and plopped them in Elaine’s View garden, not sure what to expect.

As I knew would happen, with spring the hostas quickly took over the site, and I thought I had lost the hellebores.  This fall, as I was cleaning up the shade garden and preparing for winter, I stumbled upon a couple of plants that looked not quite like weeds.  There was something a bit more sturdy to the stems, a bit more green than the blanching mishmash of weeds and spent hostas.

Something told me not to cut, but to wait, be patient, maybe I can identify these guys.

When I ordered the hellebores, I was concentrating solely on the blooms.  I found two that promised red blooms, one that promised a ruffled edge, one a deep red.

I really wanted to add some spicy color to the endless sea of green hostas – the only plant that seems to survive on that side of the house.

Blue Hosta

The sunlight is very minimal on that stark, northern exposed garden bed.  Our tall, two-story house shades that side liberally all day, with only a sparse amount of afternoon sun hitting the ground in mid summer.

I’ve stubbornly tried so many plants there, losing plants too numerous to mention.  Hard lesson learned – know your plants expectations and follow THEIR rules.  But the hostas do extremely well there.  I’ve added a sampling of fern last year, and when I discovered the hellebores, I was giddy with anticipation!

But I forgot to take note of the foliage.

I think these might be them!

Of course, I Googled “Hellebore leaves”, and thankfully discovered that, yes, yes indeed, these two mystery survivors are the hellebores!

We haven’t had any trace of snow yet this year, but I’m sure it’s a coming!  And from what I’ve read, they will survive!  I will make a note to look at them in early February, and see if I can trim back the leaves from last year.  I will be looking with great anticipation for the unfurling of the new leaves, and the (hopefully) plentiful buds.  Until then.

What’s your favorite shade plant?  I could really use some suggestions on what to add to my shade collection!


9 thoughts on “The Hellebores Survived!”

  1. I added a Hellebore to my mostly shady lasagna garden, and am pleased with it. With such a light snow cover right now, it’s nice to look up there and see its deep green foliage.

    Some Heucheras do well in heavy shade. Maybe they won’t bloom, but you can break up all the green with colorful foliage. I have a Turtlehead as well in a 90% shaded spot, and it has bloomed well two consecutive falls now. Good luck!


    1. well i spoke too soon – we are currently in a deep freeze with about 3 inches of the white stuff. welcome suddenly to winter! my shade garden is sloping so it has decent drainage – but moss is abundant if that means anything


  2. I absolutely adore Hellebores! I have a new home/gardens and don’t have any yet. They are so expensive to buy! In years past I always had another gardener give me some shares. Haven’t ordered from Spring Hill in many many years, but they used to always have reasonable price. Will have to check them out. Thanks for sharing this lovely post so I’m reminded I want/need some Hellebores! Cindy from


    1. Hi cindy! thanks for stopping in! I really love ordering from Spring Hill. Not only are they reasonably priced, they offer an unconditional guarantee – if something fails to grow, they replace it! I’ve taken advantage of this a few times, even tho it may have been my fault the plants did not thrive.



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