opinion on Helleborus

I live in Seattle, zone 8ish (maybe different as I'm in the foothills of the mountains) and talking to a nursery owner about some perennials for a filtered sun area he recommended potentially some helleborus plants.
I'm not at all familiar with this plant, he indicated that the flower was spring only but that it wouldn't die back during the summer so the plant itself would be green all season. He also suggested potentially some primroses for fill in the gap cover. It was my understanding that primroses will die back during the summer and tend to look shabby when not in bloom - but they will reseed themselves and come back the next spring.
So I guess I'm wondering, what could I expect from a helleborus in a filtered sun area and do they stay green year round? do they self perpetuate or are they more like shrubs.
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They stay green all year here . What's nice is some of them having been in bloom for about 3 weeks. My oldest (8 years) which are more common type self seeded and gave me another 6 plants. I think the common ones suggest that winter is not supreme but Id offer north protection from winds anyway.
Look about for flowers that face upward as a caveat.
Here is a good $30 book.
Hellebores
ISBN 0-88192-266-8
http://preview.tinyurl.com/27m6nb
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
ICAO = KMIV Millville Weather
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