As a grower, the Hellebore is one of my favourite flowers. The main reason for that, apart from them appearing as one of the first flowers of spring, and being so beautiful and delicate, is that I get to enjoy them for several weeks before i cut them to sell to florists.
February is the main month for Hellebore flowers to appear, and for colour in the garden at the start of the season, hardiness in bad weather, and being able to take most soils, they are hard to beat. They mostly have heads that hang down, but if you prop them up in a bouquet, or hold up their heads, then you can see the wonderful flower detail inside the petals.
Unfortunately while they've got their wonderful pretty faces on, and the anthers are still frilly as every florist knows, they are notoriously tricky to keep them conditioned, and the heads often flop and can't be revived.
This makes them difficult to use in anything other than same day events, and means sourcing them is time consuming.
Tips for keeping them in the best shape include, keeping them in deep water, scoring the stems lightly so they take up more water, and keeping them cool but not cold (if you've seen hellebores in a garden after a frost, you'll know the fridge isn't the right place for them).
However wait a little bit longer, until the seed heads are forming, and the Hellebore becomes a much easier to work with flower stem.
or for a double, the seed pods aren't always so apparent
When they get to this stage, the vase life will be a lot longer, (often over a week) the stems stronger, and longer, and although the colours are slightly muted, they are still strong.
and because i'm a member of the #Helleboreappreciationsociety, here's a few more pictures to brighten up your day