Hellebores On Parade

I feel like the judge at the Westminster Dog Show. Picking and choosing from scores of images the best of the best of each breed, er, category. You, you, you…once more around the ring then line up. After careful study and cogitation, it has been determined that the groups at the Fairegarden Hellebore Show will be Freckles, Light Freckles and No Freckles. Maybe Freckle-less would be less negative? Let us begin with the first rotation, the spotteds among us:



Laura Ashley

Lavender Lassie

Watercolor Swirl


This ends the Freckles selections. Onward to the Lightly Freckled, for your viewing pleasure may we present:






That winds up the Lightly Freckled chosen contestants. Last but not least, would you please give it up for the No Freckles. In no particular order:

Princess Verdette


Pristine Petticoat


So ends the No Freckles chosen few. These are the most similar, but I promise they are photographs taken of different plants. All of the flowers are hobbled by the photographer holding the camera in the right hand to click and be as still as humanly possible whilst holding the flower head upward with the left hand clutching a small stick. The names were given with free association, no lingering thought process to gum up the works of creative word assignment, the first word or words that came to mind were used.

All of the photos are from volunteer seedlings of the original three Helleborus orientalis plants added to the garden here in 2000, a pink, white and red with freckles, unnamed. There are no doubles or fancy ones, other species of this genus do not seem to care for our conditions and die a quick death. I am not even sure I could locate the exact plants from whence these shots were taken, there are literally hundreds with many blooming size. The tiny seedlings number in the thousands. This is for fun, only.

Unlike the yearly Fairegarden Viola Beauty Pageant, coming in May, there are no background stories to spice up the narrative, but rather names only to help differentiate one from another. There will be an award for each group, then a Best Of Show. One vote per person, please, a favorite for each section and the overall winner. It is daunting to measure beauty, perhaps even morally wrong to do so. Feel free to follow your conscience and thanks for visiting! (The votes, if there are any, will be tallied and results posted after a week’s time has passed.)

Other Fairegarden posts about Hellebores:
2008 Cutting Of The Hellebores
Looking For Freckles
2009 Cutting The Hellebores-2009 Edition
Hellebore Experiment-The Results
Helleborus Orientalis-To Cut Or Not To Cut


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37 Responses to Hellebores On Parade

  1. Lovely images Frances, hellebores remain one of my favorite flowers – mine are also just starting to look spring like.

    Hi Karen, thanks. Blooming so early in the season, being tough as doggie toenails, showing variety in the seedlings all makes these most welcome. They are all winners! Hurry up to your spring! Our spring has excused itself at the moment while winter takes the stage back, but the flowers will rest comfortably in the green room until the warmth returns. πŸ™‚

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Ummm -going backwards – Princess Verdette, Candystriper & Cinnaberry (dead heat), Watercolor Swirl – with the overall winner being Cinnaberry, only because when I first saw it I thought “That’s the winner!” Best Guest award goes to the spider in the opening shot. That was hard – I don’t think I want to do it again.

    Thanks for joining in the fun, Barbara. Your picks have been duly noted and counted. I know it is hard to pick one over the other, almost better to close your eyes and point. The flowers are hampered by the photographer. In a perfect world, every shot would be of equal quality. There were some very pretty ones eliminated because the image was blurry. So unfair! HA πŸ™‚

  3. Eileen says:

    Frances, the hellebores are just beautiful. I have ordered a few to put in this spring.


    Hi Eileen, thanks. Good for you getting some, they are the most cheering flowers to bloom so early in the season. πŸ™‚

  4. Randy Emmitt says:


    All of these are lovely, I could not pick a favorite. I’m in the process of cataloging our hellebores on my page (link top right side bar) still have 6 or so left to do.

    Hope you enjoyed the rain, we got lots.

    Thanks Randy. I understand not picking a favorite completely, plus the time involved! HA Good for you with the cataloging. I have done that with several groups of plants here as well. Nice to have them named and easy to find in one place, especially the daylilies. Now I only have to add new ones, it is comforting to have them done. We got nearly 5 inches of rain, needed and appreciated! πŸ™‚

  5. gardeningasylum says:

    Pinky, Candystriper and Tiltawhirl, because I love their names the best, with Candystriper best in show! I admire so much your diligence and care in keeping track of your babies πŸ™‚

    Hi Cyndy, thanks for joining in the vote! I hope I am able to find the winner when this is done! HA πŸ™‚

  6. LOL Frances, I think I enjoyed you naming as much as the beauties themselves! Even stabilizing your photos with one hand, they are amazing. H.

    I’m back to judge – Love them all, but Pinky, Watercolor Swirl, Candy Striper. Ya gotta love what these girls and boys will do when left to their own devices!

    HA Helen, you are on to me!!!! Thanks for the kind words and coming back to vote. I really need to slow down with the photo taking and use the tripod, but that is not possible when I am flat on the ground. πŸ™‚

  7. Carol says:

    Dusty, Candystriper and Pristine Pettycoat. The rest are lovely, of course, but there can only be one winner per category, one best of show, and that would be Dusty!

    Hi Carol, thanks for joining in the picking. Your votes have been added to the count. They really are all winners here. πŸ™‚

  8. One says:

    The names are as beautiful as the flowers. How creative of you! πŸ™‚

    Hi One, thanks so much for visiting. The names are simply to identify one from the other, but I do think there is a marketing job out there for me somewhere naming plants. I know I could do better than some of them are now doing. HA πŸ™‚

  9. They are all best of shows in my opinion. All your photos, centerfolds. I always look forward to when the hellebores arrive, but now I am going to be looking at them a bit differently, like each on the podium for hands on inspection. Now take ’em around…

    Thanks Donna, for dropping by and getting into the proper spirit! HA The Hellebores are a joyful rite of spring here. I am soooo glad to have cut the old foliage, what a huge difference that has made in the garden look from near and afar. πŸ™‚

  10. gail says:

    Dear Frances, Lovely hellebores on this chilly gray morning. I would like to give a special nod to the spider in the first photo! Here goes~Pinky in the freckles category; Chinaberry, next; and, Princess Verdette with her dogwood shaped leaves. Best in show~Chinaberry. She who reminds me of the changing colors of Rosa ‘Mutabilis’…Hope it’s warm in your garden today! xxoogail

    Dear Gail, thanks for your votes. These are all so pretty, it is difficult to say one is better or prettier than the rest, but we will manage with the help of kind readers willing to make the tough choices! πŸ™‚

  11. Layanee says:

    Luscious! I can see you ‘hobbling’ with one hand, clicking with the other. Lovely photos and hellebores are worth the wait.

    Thanks Layanee. The Hellebores are so welcome, I really should take more time with the shots. Next year. πŸ™‚

  12. Donna says:

    I am partial to little or no freckles…amazing how they are all related…

    Hi Donna, thanks for visiting. The color variations and freckles different on each one are a thing of wonderment. πŸ™‚

  13. Rose says:

    I could never be a judge–they’re all winners in my book! But ok, ‘Watercolor Swirl’, ‘Cinnaberry’, and ‘Princess Verdetter’ get my votes today, though I might change my mind on a second viewing:)
    I have to share this with you–I met up with some other garden bloggers yesterday at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. One small exhibit had the loveliest hellebores in full bloom until one of us decided to touch them—-they were artificial!! I guess they decided they didn’t like the way the real blooms drooped downward and thought the fake ones would be more appealing:)

    Hi Rose, thanks for your votes, but WHOA on the artificial Hellebores at the CFGS! Isn’t that illegal or something? If not, it should be , a crime against nature. If they didn’t like the flowers pointing down, they could have put stakes of some kind to hold them up. Sheesh. I may have nightmares about that. HA πŸ™‚

  14. Leslie says:

    I think I’ll go with Pinky, Candystriper and Princess Verdette, All, however, are lovely and deserve applause.

    Thanks for casting your ballots, Leslie. They really are all lovely and deserving of praise. These shown just had the best photographs. πŸ™‚

  15. Lisa Blair says:

    I am partial to Laura Ashley myself. I love its delicate center and pretty little freckles.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for voting. I like her, too. The green tints are what make these Hellebores so attractive, I think. Green and pink remind me of the bedding used for my daughter Semi’s room when she was little. I even made a quilt from Laura Ashley fabrics for her using pinks and greens, so long ago. πŸ™‚

  16. Lona says:

    Wow Frances what a beautiful display you have of them. I so hope mine bloom this spring.

    Hi Lona, thanks. I hope yours bloom, too. We had to wait a couple of years for the original plants to get going, then another couple to see seedlings. They need two cold seasons to germinate, so be patient, if yours are orientalis. πŸ™‚

  17. WOW!!!! ’nuff said. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Kate. πŸ™‚

  18. ricki says:

    Frances, you do such a fine job with tutorials…perhaps you could do one on the care of Hellebores. I am in love after this post, but mine always flop over so that I can only appreciate the flowers when I reach in and hold one up for inspection.

    Thanks Ricki. The only care I give the Hellebores is the cutting of the leaves, which has been covered in several posts, see all the Hellebore posts listed at the end here. I had to hold up each of those flowers to take their photos. I used a stick and had to snap the shutter one handed. Mine are even mostly planted on a slope which makes it somewhat easier to get underneath to look at the insides of the flowers. Perhaps a raised planter or along a taller wall would make them more accessible. πŸ™‚

  19. Kathy says:

    Laura Ashley, Centerfold, Princess Verdette. Best of Show to Centerfold

    Thanks for joining in, Kathy! πŸ™‚

  20. Watercolour swirl would be my first choice, if I could grow them …

    Hi Diana, thanks for your vote. I am sorry you cannot grow these, but know you can grow many fabulous, native plants in South Africa. πŸ™‚

  21. Holley says:

    I think I like those freckled ones the best. They are all beautiful, but the freckled ones have a bit of ‘cute’, too!

    Hi Holley, thanks for joining in. The freckles are interesting, but as you say, they are all beautiful. πŸ™‚

  22. Julia says:

    WOW! I’m in love with “center-fold” gorgeous! I am also excited to have come across your blog! What a visual feast for the want-to-be gardener in me. Your garden and your blog are totally inspirational…I Look forward to following your journeys. Cheers Julia

    Hi Julia, thanks for those kind words and welcome. I am so glad you came here to visit and select your favorite of the Hellebores. See you in Seattle! πŸ™‚

  23. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your collection of hellebores are great Frances. I love those little freckles. I have one or two. Some day I will have more. I finally realized I mustn’t deadhead so I get plants from seed. Ha.. I’m just a little slow.

    HA Lisa, you are so funny! Thanks for visiting, and may your uncut flowers produce many babies in the future. πŸ™‚

  24. Sharon says:

    Wow! I think Pinky is the best photo, the others are wonderful as well.

    Thanks Sharon. You have hit upon the dilemma, the photos can make or break these stars! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  25. Les says:

    I’ll take Pinky also.

    Thanks Les. Diligently recorded. πŸ™‚

  26. lifeshighway says:

    I am going for Lavender Lassie but it took a lot of scrolling back and forth.

    Thanks for voting and taking so much time with it! πŸ™‚

  27. Catherine says:

    I love seeing how the seedlings turn out. You’ve quite a very pretty selection there.
    Freckles – Pinky
    Lightly Freckled – Candy Striper
    Freckless – Tiltawheel

    Hi Catherine, thanks so much for joining in the fun. They are all so beautiful, these were the best images. πŸ™‚

  28. Stacy says:

    Oh, so lovely! I’ve never actually seen hellebores in the “real world” before – the whole herd of them (what’s the collective noun for a bunch of hellebores?) must be spectacular in your garden. Today I’d vote for Dusty, Candy Striper, and Tiltawheel (Best in Show to Dusty), but tomorrow might be another story.

    Hi Stacy, thanks. I wish you could see the herd in person, they are much prettier than my meager images show. I appreciate your voting. πŸ™‚

  29. Lavendar Lassie, for her stunning stamens, Centerfold, for her unapologetic light freckling, and Princess Verdette, for her beautifully sculptured petals. Overall, Centerfold, for total class. Thanks for sharing the fun Frances, and for showcasing the wonder that is hellebore self seedlings.

    Hi Janet, thanks for taking time to consider the assets of these Hellebore seedlings. They are wonderous. πŸ™‚

  30. sequoiagardens says:

    Having recovered from a serious bout of ENVY, and drunk from an excess of AWE, here is my selection:
    FRECKLES – Watercolour Swirl
    LIGHTLY FRECKLED – Cinnaberry
    FRECKLE-LESS – Princess Verdette

    PS: And for my overall winner even though she is as far from a hell-of-a-bore, or, for that matter, a hellish-boar as anything can be, I nominate the Faire Frances!

    Hi Jack, you are too sweet with those kind words, blush, blush, and too funny!.
    Thanks for joining in the voting, the winners seem to be emerging now, but really they are all beautiful. πŸ™‚

  31. Diana says:

    ‘k – Pinky gets my vote for Best in Show. Probably because she is most like my beloved “Phoebe.” http://bit.ly/ea3JT9 I can’t fathom how amazing all those Hellebores must look in your garden. They are not too fond of our heat, dought and short winter/spring, but they manage somehow. I have 6 and dote on them!

    Hi Diana, wow, your Phoebe is amazing! I don’t have any doubles, but saw that my favorite nursery, Mouse Creek had both pink and white doubles for sale. I wonder if that trait would show up in the seedlings, if there are any? Our first Hellebore was planted in our garden at The Woodlands and dug up when we moved here. It had not been long in the ground there but seems much happier here. It is the one we call Big Mama, pinky green with no freckles. Kudos to you for being able to keep them happy! Thanks for your vote. πŸ™‚

  32. cheryl says:

    O Frances, what beautiful flowers. I have to find me some this year. While they all bring Spring into my cold, white world, I choose Cinnaberry and Laura Ashley for top awards.
    Go Cinna Go! πŸ™‚

    HA Cheryl, thanks, way to root for your choice!!! HA I hope you are able to add some Hellebores, and they make you some lovely offspring over the years! πŸ™‚

  33. joey says:

    Lovely portraits of stunning hellebores beauties.

    Thanks Joey. Glad you liked them. πŸ™‚

  34. Jen says:

    Frances, some of those shots make me swoon!

    Seriously gorgeous.

    But I am not picking favorites, am I?

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    Thanks Jen. The voting is totally optional, I appreciate your stopping by. πŸ™‚

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