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Hi, I'm planting up a shady bank and it's time to think about some hellebores - has anyone any particular favourites they would recommend?

Hey dovefromabove, just commented about astrantias and notice your post re hellebores. I grow some 30 or 40 of hellebores orientalis. Ashwood supply named varieties that I hope to get later but I do love the doubles. They are planted in areas of my garden where the soil is better...they hate the really dry parts. I intersperse with salvia patens, Astilbes, astrantias, acteas, dahlias, aconitum and grasses such as stipa gigantea,deschampsia, miscanthus morning light, hakonechloa and panicum. Intersestingly, my astrantia sunning dale, a variegated form, is flowering very well, after I split it last year....because I had to move it.

Hi, yes I drool over the Ashwood site - I particularly covet Ashwood Blushing Bride.  Personally I'm not so keen on the doubles; I love the simplicity of the single form and also there are so few nectar sources for bees at that time of year, and I understand that bees find the complexity of the doubles problematic, so I stick to the singles.  


Hi dove, have a look at www.helleborus. de  i have "niger", which is part of the gold collection, it stays compact


links not working, google it, it will give you some ideas i hope



Lovely site, thanks.  I particularly like Karina Green and Green Corsican 


Your welcome,


Helleborus foetidissima has lime green flowers and cut leaves and was in flower from November to early March in my damp, shady bed.  In drier beds I have a range of hellebores from the simple cream flowers thorugh pinky purples to almost black flowers.  Labels long gone so no varieties to name.   I don't grow the double forms as the simple ones are a good source of nectar for early bees.

To keep them looking good, make sure you cut down old foliage in winter/early spring when the flowers start to open.  This removes old material that can harbour disease and also shows the flowers off better.  They can take a couple of seasons to settle in and flourish and dislike being moved but once established will provide a good, long lasting display followed by attractive foliage and they will also self seed.  Being promiscuous, you may get some very interesting as well as ordinary babies so it's worth potting some up to grow on and see what you get.

The double hellebores are lovely to look at from appreciate the singles you need to lift their heads or plant them on a bank. I have yellow,i purple, red. Spotted yellow and pink. They have a fuller look. I generally prefer single flowers too though. And have some lovely varieties. Hellebores Corsica is a bigger plant with green flowers and evergreen. The Christmas rose, hell Niger doesn't do well for me can be temperamental. I have grown other hellebore types but orientalis are the most showy. Watch out for hell seedlings too....they can be good

In my last garden I grew Helleborus Niger and various seedlings which flowered later and were paler and freckled (and there was a greeny one too).

As I've said, in this garden I have a shady bank, so I am looking forward to being able to see my hellebores from a better viewpoint 

Hey dovefromabove, you seem to have a pretty big garden? Mine is in two parts each about 30 metres x 30 metres. Front lawn, eroded now n again by my desire to plant more and back garden with pool, fruit, greenhouse, lawn, veg, shrubs perennials etc. sunny with little natural shade, good draining loam and on the coast. And v little frost. I get impression you might garden in completely different conditions but try to grow similar things? What sort of gardens do others have out there? And what type of gardeners are you? Do you experiment, hanker after the newest plants, analyse why plants suffer or perish? Be nice to put context with names on the forum?.??


When should helleborus plug plants be planted out in the garden.



Now Mr .Jones. Helleborus x hybridus makes new roots during the colder months of the year, for some reason. That is why it is recommended to split or move them in October.

For those trying to transplant seedlings, never ever let the roots dry out, not even in the slightest. If digging up from the garden( self sown ones) drop them into a bucket ot water to bring back to the potting shed. Even a short distance can be fatal.

flowering rose

The dark almost black are my favorite but mine are white and pink.brightens up the winter.



I grow a lot of un-named Orientalis in one bed. My Nigers in pots as they just dont like my soil, but are very happy now!  My Ashwoods are in a separate bed.  Agree that singles are better, but have the odd double.

The Corsican types can get very big IME & will need some support, but are still good & the flowers last a good while.

Dont like the black ones at all.

Each December I remove the foliage off all the orientalis & Ashwoods- NOT the Corsican otherwise you will lose the flowers. You will be able to see the emerging flowers stems in the crown of the plants. They then get a good mulching of my compost.

The Nigers just get the tatty, dying foliage removed & also get some mulch.

Berghill, thx for the tip re keeping things very moist. Have some seedlings to move. J.


The tip came from a Hellebore site on the Interweb thingy. I tried it last year and have just fiinished potting up the hundred or so self sown seedlings which I got. I think I have only lost a couple out of that number, which is good going. Now if only I could manage to do that with x ballardii seedlings. I can get the seed to germinate, I can dig up self sown ones, but nary a one have I ever managed to get to replanting size.

If you can get hold of it. H. thibetana is a beautiful thing, flowering for me in later January/early Feb.

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