Welcome to Week 8 of The Blooms.
Although I didn’t realize it straight away, now discovered, the hellebore is fast becoming one of my favourite blooms. Not only do they poke up from the earth when nothing much else seems to be living and thrive in the first warming rays of the winter sun, they are truly beautiful in their array of colours, delicate markings and pretty stamens.
In the ground they can last for months. Once picked, it’s a different story. Hellebores brought in the house will be lucky to last a day, maybe more if the cut ends are dipped in boiling water as soon as they have been cut. According to the amazing Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers, another way to depend on a longer lasting cut hellebore is to be patient and pick it when it’s ripe. A ripe hellebore is one that has gone to seed and its stamen have fallen off (hellebore on the right in the picture below). Definitely not as pretty, but that bloom will last longer in your vase.
As for me, when my neighbour suggested I pick a few from her garden, I couldn’t resist but make her a bouquet, stamens and all. With just a few extras from my garden including magnolia, fern, hazel catkins and vinca minor, the hellebores take centre stage.