Spring has undeniably sprung. Daffodils are already waning, cherry is wilting but boom! It’s hellebore time in the city. The New York flower market is rioting with specimens, and we’re carting home armfuls quicker than they can stock the shelves. When bought locally or cut from the ubiquitous plant, their vase life is phenomenal. The imported stems? Well, not so hot. When stuffed in an old tin alongside a few fancy stems of clematis and lilac, a collection of hellebores are the ultimate spring treat. — Amy Merrick
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Hellebores run the color gamut, from white and chartreuse to olive, eggplant, rose and blush, with freckled varieties in between. Don’t even get me started on the truly ridiculous double-petaled varieties, which can only be procured by plant cutting; this florist is trying to be mindful of her neighbors’ gardens. A new leaf for a new season?
Just a few stems tied with a little silk ribbon are all you need. Stick that baby in an old bottle, ribbon and all, and bask in your genius. A little branch of spirea here, a couple fritillaria there. It’s not an exact science — messy and mixed is best.
Sometimes called a lenten rose because their bloom time falls during Lent, the hellebore is a funny little plant when growing. Its head nods downward, hiding its beautiful face. The mark of a true plant lover is continually stopping along a shady stroll to upturn a hellebore and peak inside. So even if you don’t have the heart to chop up your beloved babies, get to flippin’. It’s worth the extra bend, I promise!