Hellebores may seem exotic and so they are, being native across Europe and Asia. Yet many of these flowers have been hybridized here in the United States by places such as Northwest Garden Nursery in Oregon. This is a fantastic perennial. Blooming during the dark days of winter/spring, they are dazzling with their colors and blooms. I read that many people don’t know about this plant because they don’t visit the nurseries in late winter when hellebores are blooming. Perhaps they are a gardener’s best kept secret! Hellebores can grow in many different circumstances, but prefer semi-shade, rich well-drained alkaline soil. However, they are tolerant of full sun, full shade, rocky or rich soil. With hybrid species, remove all the old foliage in December to make the blossoms stand out. Deadheading will prevent hellebores from re-seeding in the garden. They do contain toxins, so don’t eat them, but neither will the deer or rabbits! Hybrid hellebores will form mounds and can be divided in late summer. Winter jewels is a perfect description for these cool weather beauties as seen in the pictures below. They are dressed up in their finest as they expectantly await the arrival of a very important day….the first day of spring!