Hellebores have a reputation for being a tough, woodland plant. They also provide some early colour in speckled, double or plain forms. Buds tend to appear in December and flowers remain until April. These plants are evergreen, providing some useful green foilage all year round. More recent introductions have marbled foliage and large saucer-like flowers.
There are many types of hellebore that are suited to different situations such as dry shade, shady containers and clay soil. In general most tend to prefer partial shade in soil that is neither dry nor waterlogged and with an airy aspect.
These are relatively low maintenance plants and just need mulching with orgainc matter once a year as well as cutting back old leaves in the autumn. Just keep a watch out for aphids as they weaken the plants and may introduce disease.
Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' PVR £6.50
(9cm pot available now)
Pink flowers that darken with age on marbled green leaves. (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) Flowers from January to April. Full/partial shade. Height and spread: 60cm. Hardy. Caution: Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; skin irritant.
PVR - Propagation for resale prohibited.
Helleborus torquatus x orientalis 'Ballard's Black Type' £5.50
(9cm pot not available this year)
Purple-black flowers with a grey bloom and pale green centres. Hardy. Caution: Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; skin irritant.
Helleborus 'Cally Mix' £6.00
(1.5ltr pot available for collection only)
Buds are white with hints of pink with the flower darkening to pink. Came from Cally Gardens. Flowers from December to April. Easy in cool, fertile soil and dappled shade. Hardy. Grows up to 60cm in both height and spread. Caution: Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; skin irritant.