Week 5: The Hellebore - as my son would say, now is your time to shine! There are few perennials that can rival the seasonal interest of hellebores… often called Christmas or Lenten Rose. Hellebores have long been grown in gardens, although originally for their medicinal properties. Hellebores are filled with alkaloid toxins and have been used both as a poison and a purgative. Most are primarily European natives, growing in open meadows in Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and even China, where the deciduous species Hellebores thibetanus can be found. As long-blooming, low-maintenance, basically evergreen perennials these plants have few equals. I’ve included them in my living walls from the day I started and they’ve never let me down. You simply have to love a plant that braves what nature throws at it and still manages to show off at this time of year.