About Our Hellebores
To insure the integrity of the strain, all of our stock plants are hand-pollinated and isolated from pollination by insects. They arre individually bagged and collected by color strain to prevent errors. We strive for clean, clear colors, evenly shaped petals (actually tepals in a hellebore), good vigor, and, of course, a plentiful flower show. In the singles, we also select for flowers held vertically instead of drooping, or, if they do nod, we pay particular attention to the back of the tepals, which must show interesting coloration. Disease resistance is a priority in our breeding program.
The flowers of hellebores have to nod somewhat to protect the pollen from becoming wet, since, at the time they bloom, they are exposed to extreme weather. If the fallen stamens sit in a pool of water in an up-facing flower it is likely that the flower will rot — not an attractive sight!
Our goal is to have double flowers full and tepals evenly spaced. They can be frilly or have broad tepals, but should be colorful and interesting from above so that their beauty can be enjoyed without bending over.
Regarding foliage, we take care that leaves do not overwhelm the flowers when the flowers are still in bloom. Black and green flowers will have a higher percentage of fine-leaved plants than yellows and pinks. That is just part of the genetics, since Helleborus x hybridus was developed from about 16-19 different species (depending on who is counting).
Choice Stock Plants
Each year we gather a few of the choicest of our new hybrids as stock plants and at the same time discard any that we deem inferior, even if the year before we thought them "the best." Only in this way can we make constant progress toward the "perfect plant" for your garden.