The harbingers of spring will hit the flower shops before they come to our flowerbeds. This week I found an uncommon cut flower, Helleborus, to bring back home. I love their cool green color and they went well with a group of blood-orange colored 'Estelle' roses I received from a friend. Although I have seen cut hellebore blossoms before, but these flower clusters were massive...
These were easily 18" tall with their large, thick stems and massive amounts of tough, jagged evergreen leaves. It is the section from which the flowers grew that was very tender, though. I had to revive these guys with a dip in hot water and then on to cool, as they had begun to wilt by the time I got home. Some quick advice from Kerry Quade confirmed my suspicions:
"...they can be a bit finicky as cut flowers so if you see them crashing take immediate action - fresh cut and deep warm water... if you wait you'll miss the chance to get them to rebound and they will be gone forever...sad I know as they are so pretty."
I think this may be a variety of Helleborus foetidus, which is commonly called a Stinking Helleborus. I personally love them - but they do have a strong smell and they are poisonous. So maybe not the best cut flower to bring to a friend. And definitely don't leave the vase water out for kitty to discover.
What I WOULD recommend, though, are the fiddleheads that I bought to stick in the vase, as well as the vase itself: Jonathan Adler's Pinch Vase in white. The perfect size for a dozen roses. It has a nice weight and the glaze is soft. I love the vase's curving lip; it seems to cradle the flowers.
matt at apartment therapy dot com