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Hellebores: Deer Proof Groundcover for Shade

Hellebore, Helleborus, commonly referred to as Lenten Rose, is what I call a perfect garden plant! Rich green palmate leaves look lush even on the coldest days of winter. Blooms begin opening right after Christmas and can be enjoyed right up until the beginning of spring. And if the fact that Hellebores are evergreen and winter blooming isn't enough for you, would you believe that deer won't eat it?
Hellebores are very easy to grow. They do enjoy a rich soil, but are very drought tolerant plants. Our modest patch of hellebores is located in an area of the shade garden that we cannot reach with the hose. Blooms which appear in winter and very early spring are varied in color. They can be white, green, pink, maroon, or even speckled! When the blooms begin to fade, seeds develop. Within a few years your hellebore patch can double in size. Once the blooms are gone, new bright green new growth emerges. The palmate deep green leaves make a very attractive groundcover up to 18 inches tall. Hellebores can be grown almost anywhere in the United States, since it's hardy in USDA Zones 4-8. Well-drained soil is best, so amend with compost to make your plants happy. Try some hellebores in your garden, and they'll make you happy as well!

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