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Hellebore: A Bright Spot in the Winter That Never Ends
By Greg Soles
Looking out my office window this past February was quite depressing, except for these luscious beauties! The bright flowers that adorned these plants brought some sanity to this golfer who is pining for some sign of spring. The great thing is, gardening existed all winter!
I had the good fortune to do some work the past few years with one of the world’s renowned Hellebore breeders, Josef Heuger. He has brought the Helleborus Gold Collection™ to North America over the past few years. His work has been focused on developing hybrids that can bring color to winter gardens November through March. They have also done good work with oriental hybrids in their Spring Promise® collection. Other breeders are doing work in hellebore breeding and this is offering the gardening enthusiast winter joy across the country. We have watched hellebore thrive in Massachusetts, the Mid-Atlantic States, Texas, Northern California and Pacific Northwest. Heck, my brother’s plants thrive in Pittsburgh. I love getting flowering pictures of Helleborus niger in December from him. In Europe, hellebore is a tradition. We are just discovering the genus in North America. Who says you can’t garden in the winter?