Troy is a plantsman, author, photographer and garden designer who co-hosts Nashville Public Television's hit gardening show, Volunteer Gardener.  He has recently joined forces with Garden Travelers, of Indianapolis, Indiana, leading unique, small group garden and history focused tours both at home and abroad. His personal blog, "Gardener Cook" is a hit with gardeners and food enthusiasts, alike. For more information about Troy, visit

Recent Blog Posts

Apr 20
Jewels of the Spring Garden   (1 comment)

Mar 26
Dreaming of Summer  

Mar 01
Where, Oh Where, Is Spring?  

Feb 11
The Roses of Winter  

Jan 24
Classic Gardens and Country Estates of England  

Jan 13
The View From Wits’ End  




The Roses of Winter
by Troy Marden - posted 02/11/14

Helleborus x hybridus 'Tutu'

With the exceptionally cold weather that we have experienced in Tennessee this winter and with little to no snow cover to protect plants from the single digit temperatures, I was elated when I saw new growth and even a few buds on the hellebores (aka Lenten rose) pushing through the ground this week as the weather moderated just a little.  Winter is far from over, but I found a glimmer of hope in the fact that maybe the plants aren't quite as bad off as I thought they might be. In another week or so, I'll carefully trim last year's brown, freeze-dried leaves from the plants as flower buds and new growth begin to emerge, but for now, the dead leaves are still offering a little protection to the new growth that is just emerging.

I have been experimenting with hellebores, or Lenten roses, for nearly 20 years and I am especially fond of some of the new cultivars with flowers in clean, clear colors and in single, semi-double and fully double forms. Hellebores are happiest in part to full shade, in rich, well-amended soil.  They need good drainage, especially in winter.  Once they're established, they are quite drought tolerant and if you have a deer problem, they'll quickly become one of your favorite shade garden plants, since the deer won't touch them.  Here are a few current favorites.

Helleborus x hybridus 'Golden Lotus'


Helleborus niger 'Double Fantasy'


Helleborus x 'Winter Moonbeam'


Helleborus x hybridus 'Red Lady'


These are but a few favorites.  There are many others.  I hope this sparks a little interest and sends you on a search for these tough, forgiving, easy-to-grow and exceptionally beautiful plants.

Happy Gardening!




RSS | Print

Share this story on:
Facebook       Twitter