Photos above taken in March 2018. All photos are from my garden.
Helleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore) has worked exceptionally well in my dry, lightly shaded garden in Seattle. There is moderate to fairly steep slope, so the plants are never in standing water. A 50-foot tall Fraxinus oregana (Oregon Ash) extends sparse branches, 20 feet above ground level, over the area. My 15 hellebores, scattered randomly, make quite a show from January through March. The foliage is attractive all year. The plant is called the stinking hellebore, because of the odor of its crushed leaves. I've never noticed the odor. It's a needlessly off-putting name. I took seedlings no more than 5 inches tall from another garden where they were plentiful. Those seedlings grew to their mature height (2 to 3 feet) within 3 years. The plants continue to expand laterally as the number of stalks increase. This is a long-lived perennial. The stalks die after blooming & setting seed. New stalks grow to replace them & bloom the next year. The green or chartreuse flowers are attractive to insects, especially bees. The leaves are dark green, but leaves, stalks & flowers are sometimes tinted red. The Wester Flisk Group of Helleborus foetidus is reliably reddish. I suppose that my plants may be descendants of that group. Helleborus foetidus is native to the mountainous regions of Central and Southern Europe, Greece & Turkey.
This blog began in 2008 as Metropolitan Gardens to provide information on gardening in Seattle & places like it. Click on Gardening in Cascadia. The blog expanded to include Parks P-Patches Public Gardens in the US, Canada & Europe. Then Nature was added. (The difference between nature & gardens is intent. Nature happens. Gardens are planned.) Many recent posts are not about Seattle, or even Cascadia. They are Urban Landscape: streetscape & architecture. Cascadia is the region including the Cascade Mountains of Washington & Oregon.
The city of Seattle rests between 2 bodies of water: Puget Sound & Lake Washington. Puget Sound is a substantial part of the Salish Sea & a very small part of the Pacific Ocean. The Salish Sea is set apart from the Pacific by the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington & Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia. The dense, wet clouds of the Pacific Ocean travel as far as the Cascade Mountains, near the Salish Sea & not very far from the ocean. East of the Cascades lies the desert of the Columbia Basin. The moist, temperate climate of Seattle extends south to northern California & north to southeastern Alaska. The Pacific Northwest Coast from San Francisco Bay to Cook Inlet shares a flora dominated by evergreen coniferous forest. The central portion, west of the Cascade Mountains, is called Cascadia. The climate is cool & wet from fall to spring, warm & dry in summer. The Olympic Mountains block Seattle from much of the Pacific rainfall. Seattle is drier than the Atlantic coast of North America & northern Europe, cooler in summer & warmer in winter. It lies near the latitude of Paris & Quebec City.