Among the few life’s certainties ;), at this time of year there is also the Helleborus germination.
I only started to grow them from seeds a few years ago after I found a few seeds left on a Helleborus purpurascens specimen from the Carpathian Mts.; pure luck. Some of those seeds were swapped for other Helleborus x hybridus, H. foetidus and H. niger (some already planted in the garden and ready to flower).
Newly sown this year: H. x hybridus – a red picotee form.
Invariable, if sown by late July/August, they all start to germinate by late February-March (kept in a frost free garage and brought indoors). The hybrids are very fast growing and easy to manage; some species, like H. purpurascens, may be slower to develop.
In any case, the variation of forms obtained from seeds is unattainable otherwise, and the first flowers can be expected in the third year.