Brightly coloured hellebore (Lenten Rose) flowers
Click to enlarge – or double-click and see all the details.

I have two types of hellebore plants in the border garden beside our house, and I’ve blogged about them once before. But that was in late spring, when their colours were more subdued and their carpels (ovaries) were huge with seed.

This year I caught them much earlier, before the seeds had started to form. When I knelt down on the patio stones and maneuvered my face and camera underneath the flowers of the purple hellebore (not an easy task, believe me), I was in for a surprise. I hadn’t expected the riot of polka dots and leopard-like spots, nor the intense pink and purple hues – colours reminiscent of the Carnaby Street fashions we loved back in the mid-1960s.

Hellebore flowers face down and the plants grow fairly low to the ground, so it’s hard to see what’s going on under those full-skirted petals. Viewed from above, the flowers seem much more subdued than the gaudy floozies that danced above my lens the other day. My knees suffered for the experience, but all the same, I’m glad I took the time for a close inspection. 

While hellebore flowers seen from below
The white hellebore was beautiful too – but much more subdued (click to enlarge).

About Laurie MacBride

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

13 responses »

  1. What an absolutely amazing set of photographs, Laurie! I had no idea how intricate and beautiful these flowers were, I am very glad you went through those crazy efforts to capture and share these, my friend!

  2. Sherry Galey says:

    Gorgeous hellebores. I don’t see them much in my neck of the woods — thanks for sharing yours!

  3. Phil Lanoue says:

    Those are amazing! Great photos!

  4. Ok me thinks somebody got a really good macro lens ??? Your viewpoint has arranged these flowers in all their blooming lovely stages of development. Sorry white hellebore, nice but you have lost the drama contest to your purple / violet siblings. BTW Laurie I have heard that serious Hellebore photographers use good knee and elbow pads.

    Ian

    • Thanks for the comment and knee pad suggestion, Ian – good to hear from you and you’re right, I definitely should have used them! As for the lens – no, this wasn’t a macro lens, just by trusty 50-mm prime lens. But perhaps I should have another look at the hellebores, this time with my close-up lenses…

  5. Susan says:

    great shots Laurie! i esp. like the white hellebores… i’ve never heard of this flower!
    hope your knees recover quickly ! : )

    Susan

    ps could you please tell me what camera you use ? and what lense would this be ?
    i really miss having an SLR …

    • Thanks Susan. Nothing fancy in the equipment dept:my camera is a Canon Rebel T3i (or 600D as it’s known in Europe). I have several lenses including a wide zoom and telephoto zoom – but the one I used for these photos (and my current favorite lens) is a prime (non-zoom) lens, a Canon 50mm F/1.8. Very affordable lens and I like its portability.

  6. Geraldine says:

    what a gorgeous flower!

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