By Michael Leach
What long-lived perennial has winter flowers and boasts handsome, evergreen foliage year-round?
Hellebores of course. The modern hybrids of the flowers commonly known as Lenten and Christmas roses are anything but demure. The old-fashioned, low-growing plants bear down-facing blossoms that are hard to see. The newbies show off their pastel flowers well above the ground level and have outward-facing flowers. You can’t help but notice and admire them during the dreary winter days.
One of the best places to view a huge range of blossoms is Yew Dell Botanical Gardens near Louisville, Ky. (Please see our post on Yew Dell of May 4, 2012.) The hellebores are found mainly in The Secret Garden. They are part of a collection of more than 70 winter and spring-flowering hellebores used throughout the gardens. The show is such as success that this month’s Horticulture magazine has an article.
Along with the hellebore display, Yew Dell holds a sale from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday April 6.