Mother Nature sure is an amazing being. Here in Pennsylvania, we are used to winter being a time of dormancy for almost all plants, trees and shrubs. Bare branches, dry grasses, are more the norm than are green leaves and flowers. However, there is an amazing plant that actually blooms outdoors in our zone 5b climate during the winter months. Behind, the incredible Hellebores!
Hellebores is a great perennial, with such a graceful and quiet presence that packs a huge punch when it's in full bloom. We have a few varieties planted, and are currently scoping out more room to accommodate our obsession with this beauty. Two years ago we planted our first batch, and like most perennials, they are getting better and better each year!
One of the things I find most interesting and appealing about Hellebores is that they are a super long lasting cut flower. We get to enjoy them blooming outside for awhile, because you shouldn't cut them until the blooms are fully matured. After cutting, they then last for weeks inside as a cut flower. Yes, WEEKS. Last year we had some we kept as a "test" (ok, we really just wanted to enjoy their beauty on the kitchen table) that stayed beautiful in their vase for a full month. I'd say that's getting your money's worth!