A vast array of Hellebores (Helleborus) are available, with several pages listed in the RHS Plant Finder. With so many to choose from it can seem overwhelming deciding on the right hellebore for your garden. With a hellebore to suit nearly all situations, you too can enjoy welcome flowers in the deepest of winter.
Three Hellebores to try -
HELLEBORUS x ericsmithii and it's Cultivars - suitable for a sheltered sunny spot.
The name Eric Smith may be familiar to some, he started his working life as a nurseryman for Hilliers. His passion for plant breeding eventually took him to Hadspen House the home of the notable garden writer and designer Penelope Hobhouse, together they set up a nursery where he continued to breed new Hosta, Bergenia and Hellebore .
HELLEBORUS x ericsmithii was the result of a cross between Helleborus niger the Christmas Rose and Helleborus x sternii. (H. x sternii was an existing cross between the tender blue-grey hellebore, Helleborus lividus from the Balearics and the Holly Leaved Hellebore, Helleborus argutifolius which hails from Corsica & Sardinia)
Cultivars of Helleborus x ericsmithii are happiest growing in a sheltered, open sunny site with a well-drained, humus-rich neutral to alkaline soil. If you have a heavy clay soil or your soil remains wet over winter then you may need to grow these Hellebore in a pot or be prepared to dig in copious amounts of grit, either way the flowers, which stand out from the attractive dark green foliage, will brighten up the long dark days of winter.
HELLEBORUS x ericsmithii 'Anna'
HELLEBORUS x ericsmithii 'Anna' stands out from the crowd for the sheer quantity of buds that it produces, all neatly held in dense clusters before opening to display the most elegant single buff-white flowers with pale apple green markings. Their delicacy is heightened further by the evergreen mounds of bold, leathery deeply cut foliage beneath, like greyish-green granite with distinctive pale veining.
Flowering from January long into March, this hard working perennial will be the star of any winter container, perhaps combined with Ophiopogon and trailing Hedera.
HELLEBORUS ViV® Victoria - suitable for shade or semi-shade
HELLEBORUS ViV® Victoria started blooming in October, it will keep on flowering throughout the winter and on into spring.
The Belgian breeders and Hellebore specialists Thierry and Anneke Van Paemel of Het Wilgenbroek Nursery assure us that as the temperature drops the colour of ViV® Victorias flowers becomes more intense.
The compact growth habit and floriferous nature of this Hellebore make it a superb choice for an outdoor container - perfect for the patio or a pot by the front door!
HELLEBORUS ViV® Victoria
HELLEBORUS Walberton's ® Rosemary PBR (WALHERO) - suitable for semi-shade or sun
HELLEBORUS Walberton's ® Rosemary PBR (WALHERO) has become a firm favourite with us. Bred by David Tristram of Walberton's Nursery, it's a relatively new hybrid cross of H. niger and H. x hybridus. H.'Walberton's Rosemary' is a sterile Hellebore producing masses of outward facing flowers from December until the arrival of spring. These stunning dusty pink flowers stand above the deep green leaves.
HELLEBORUS Walberton's ® Rosemary PBR (WALHERO)
In the garden these Hellebore, ViV® Victoria and Walberton's ® Rosemary are happiest in a neutral to alkaline, moist but well drained soil. Add leaf mould, garden compost or well rotted manure to the soil before planting. Don't plant your Hellebore too deeply and remember to water in well after planting.
Generally these long lived perennials need very little care. They will appreciate a mulch in autumn and as the flower buds appear in October/November some of the older foliage can be cut away to help keep the plants tidy and free from fungal problems.
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