Helleborus is one of our most celebrated garden perennials of spring here in WNY. There are several reasons for this, not least of which is that they bloom early in the spring season, at a time when we so desperately need a shot of color. That fact is not lost on us during this long cold spring of 2014! There are several other reasons we love the Hellebore. The first that comes to mind is that these are tough perennials; they are long lived and quite hardy in our winters here. Occasionally the emerging flowers will get nipped by a late freeze, but once they are fully open, it’s unnoticeable. Speaking of flowers, these tough plants bloom from late March/early April to the end of May or later. That’s two full months of bloom! The color of the blooms is most vivid during the first few weeks, and then fades a bit to a limey green color, or paler shade of its original color. Helleborus also have fantastic foliage. Once the foliage emerges in the spring, usually after the flower stalks, it persists for well into the fall, and a good part of the winter if the winter is a mild one. It’s almost evergreen! The foliage is very thick and leathery, and not prone to insect or pest damage. Because of this the foliage stays very clean and blemish free for most of the season. The thickness of the leaves, combined with a rough edge to the leaf, makes this one of the most deer resistant plants for the garden! All in all, and excellent garden Perennial!