Matchmaking with Hellebores


Whether you’re already addicted to growing hellebores or are considering them for the first time, you don’t want to miss:

Linden Hill’s 15th Annual Hellebore Festival on April 1 and 2  2017 (10am to 4pm)

We’ll have a glorious abundance of blooming-size plants with wide selection of flower forms, colors, and markings, so you’re sure to find something special.

Match Making with Hellebores

When choosing beautiful new hellebores for your garden, don’t forget to think about companion plants too. Well-chosen partners can enhance the seasonal bloom show, complementing or contrasting with the hellebores’ flower colors.


Hybrid hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus) with Italian arum (Arum italicum ‘Pictum’) and ‘Chameleon’ euphorbia (Euphorbia dulcis)

Pairing hellebores with foliage companions is one easy and dependable way to go. Take advantage of perennial partners with evergreen leaves, such as heucheras and ‘Evergold’ sedge (Carex oshimensis), for color you can count on no matter what the weather does. Surrounding your hellebores with low-growing groundcovers, such as black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’), European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum), or moss serves a practical purpose too: They keep soil from splashing onto hellebore blooms during heavy spring rains.

Perennial companions that offer showy new growth, such as the bright yellow blades of golden wood millet (Milium effusum ‘Aureum’) or the pink-blushed leaves of a variegated creeping Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans), also offer exciting possibilities for subtle or dramatic color combinations.

Hybrid hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus) with ‘Touch of Class’ creeping Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans)


Hellebores bloom for such a long period that they can pair with a variety of flowering partners through their yearly show. To complement the first blooms of Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) and bearsfoot hellebore (H. foetidus), pair them with early risers such as snowdrops (Galanthus), winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), and Crocus tommasinianus. By the time the earliest hybrid Lenten roses (H. x. hybridus) open, snowdrops are usually still in bloom, joined by reticulated iris (Iris reticulata), glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) and hybrid crocuses.

Bearsfoot hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) with glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa luciliae) and Allegheny pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens)


As the season progresses, so do the possible flowering partners for hellebores. Take advantage of other spring bulbs, such as squills (Scilla and Puschkinia), grape hyacinths (Muscari), checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris), and early daffodils like ‘February Gold’ and ‘Tete-a-Tete’.

Hybrid hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus) with checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris)


By mid-spring, options increase for flowering perennial companions that complement hellebores of all sorts. Consider primrose species and hybrids, for example, and epimediums too, for a wide range of colors. Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla), forget-me-nots (Myosotis), lungworts (Pulmonaria), and early phlox (like Phlox divaricata and P. stolonifera) are beautiful for blues and whites; many of these offer pink options as well.

Hybrid hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus) with red epimedium (Epimedium x rubrum)


Don’t forget about pansies and violas, either. They come in a rainbow of hues—and black and white and bicolors, too—so you can experiment with interesting new combinations each spring.

We’ll have lots of these and other beautiful bloomers at our 15th Annual Hellebore Festival, so plan on joining us next weekend and stock up on some much-needed spring color.

Also happening on Saturday only will be Springfair. Located in the barn and featuring local vendors offering seasonal gifts and food treats.

Cap off your visit with a walk through our gardens, particularly the Metasequoia Allee , to get even more ideas for charming hellebore companions.





Today at Linden Hill, in the greenhouse, we have a little promise of and peek at spring: almost blooming galanthus nivalis!

Last fall, in preparation for the Philadelphia Flower Show, Luke, Jerry and I planted thousands of galanthus bulbs in several locations at the farm- many in the ground, and many more in aged terracotta pots.  We have been meticulously checking their progress and watering them (as snowdrops do not like to dry out). The galanthus are now in various stages of growth, from just poking out of the soil to blooming.

One of Jerry Fritz’s passions and favorite plants are Galanthus (Snowdrops). ‘Galanthus mania’ began when he first saw the wonderous and stunning masses of them at the Royal Horticultural Society in England. He has now started a dedicated club: The Galanthus Group of the Delaware Valley, to discuss and enjoy all things galanthus.

Galanthus (snowdrops) look spectacular when planted with eranthis hyemalis (winter aconite) and helleborus.

A few of the varieties growing at Linden Hill are:

Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ & ‘Sam Arnott’ & ‘Viridapice’, Galanthus ikariae, Galanthus elwesii, Galanthus ‘White Dream’

If you are interested in joining The Galanthus Group of the Delaware Valley or in pre-ordering snowdrops, send an email to

More Upcoming Events at Linden Hill Gardens