My first choice for a winter flower for the garden, whether it be a formal or cottage. The ones at Beech Street Gardens are just coming into bloom. I believe there are about ten different varieties planted thru the gardens. The variety pictured above is the oldest planting of Hellebores in the gardens.
It came from the Heronswood Nursery and is a non named variety, flowers are double pink. It has been planted under the large cherry tree in the back garden for about six years. At its prime it will be about 2.5-3 feet tall and about 4 feet wide. When the flowers start opening I will take another photo for you to see the color and the size of the plants.
The Hellebore or Helleborus comes in a very wide color selection, cream to pink, rich red, grape purple, deep burgundy and almost black. Many are freckled with spots or veined in a contrasting color, coming in singles, doubles, or semi-doubles. There are rounded petals and pointed petals, even outward facing flowers.
USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 8.
Check out Heronswood Helleborus x hybridus for 2010: Onyx Odyssey. You will truly want this for your garden. I know I will be getting one.