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I have been out with the torch... Mine are heleborous niger and hellebore winter moonbeam. To scalp or not to scalp.


then will blood fish and bone and then mulch with spent compost.


Verdun said leave niger and I think he said ericsmithii as well. Winter Moonbeam is a cultivar of eric. What an ugly name for a lovely plant, ericsmithii


Thats a beautiful plant, Lyn. I have a dusky pink single and whites, that have gently spread under the original shrub border. I moved a seedling (white) last year to the new bed under the oak. This is raised from the lawn level, so I hope to see them better. I bought two new ones from Ashwood, a double yellow and a double red for the  under oak bed. The original shrub border separates my garden from the derelict orchard and wood next door. There is no actual fence(just boundary markers at intervals) and the wildlife comes through under the shrubs. I find if I leave the leaves on until the hellebores have already put up the flowers then they don't get trampled by cats/foxes/hedgehogs/squirrels. I don't seem to suffer from the blackspot problems.

Fine, will feed and mulch all the same. It's knowing what to do and which not to!


i want more. I really do. I'm not good on evergreen shrubs with flowers so my garden in winter looks desolate. I have fading perennials. Some gazannia that doesn't appear to be fading and 2 hellebores. I planted 320 odd winter pansies and have those to plant out but they seem to come into their own just wgeb I want to throw them and plant dahlias!!!


so winter I need to work on. and hellebores seem to make pretty structure and leaf interest in sprig/summer too. 


My my farther has one with almost cactus shape leaves and green flowers, it seems to get leggy so not sure if I should 'half inch' one!


Ashwood nurseries website has some spotted doubles and some picotee ones I want. This could get expensive. I did find that seeds off mine germinated readily, so I hope the ultra pretty ones seed as well.



Sarcococcas are lovely little winter flowering shrubs, good scent too.

I'd 'acquire' some seedlings of the hellebore in your father's garden, (corsicus?) They're different  and it all adds to a lively winter garden.

There's a little cyclamen too, C. coum,  flowers right in the middle of winter with the snowdrops.

He keeps trying to give me them as they pop up all over and he wants some room but they look a tad messy. I will have to google them, maybe it's the sort that should be cut down and he hasn't!!!


he gave me another plant this year and I don't have a clue what it is. It hasn't flowered it's like a strap leafed grass and seems to form clusters at the base. It's pretty and adds shape but I'm disappointed if no flowers!!!


will goggle the winter suggestion. Thanks


Cyclamen seem to dislike my soil, I had to lift them last year to go through the summer! 


Cyclamen always die back in the summer. Some flower in the autumn without leaves, then the leaves come and die back in spring. C, coum has leaves now, will flower in a couple of months, then the leaves will die back.

Sarcococcas looks like a hefty shrub. Are there any neat small ones that don't run away or get woody?


I've only seen small neat ones. Nothing approaching a metre in any direction

Check out the dwarf hebes.....very small evergreen leaves of varying colours of grey, green, purple plus flowers.  A small juniper called Blue Star makes a "bun" of blue foliage.  Heathers are nice evergreen shrubs that remain compact if clipped each year.  There are loads of compact perennials ....many evergreen .....that make nice mounds of foliage.  

You don't need flowers over winter to provide colour and beauty....foliage colours, shapes and variety will give you plenty to admire in your winter garden.  A few wallflowers planted amongst your permanent plants will give flowers and scent from late winter on through to spring.

sounds like your Dad's hellebore might be a Corsican one or maybe the native "stinking hellebore" ?

 in which case, they don't need scalping and should have lots of offspring for you to "acquire"! they can get quite leggy, especially once  the flower stalk has gone over. I chop the faded flowers off for that reason - I don't particularly want more. Good for an awkward shady spot.

Winter flowers...... agree with Nut, cyclamen are great - hederifolium flowering now (and you can get varieties with lovely silver patterns on the leaves as well as lovely flowers), c.coum will flower in January. Stick them under deciduous trees or shrubs and they will do their thing and go dormant over summer. They will also self seed once established, so you get colonies of them over time. I have legions of "babies" popping up!

Could your mystery plant be a liriope? there are lots of things it could be but "strappy leaves" made me think of it - it does flower-  in late summer, I think


I remove stalks of Corsicus after flowering.   Do like those pale green leaves and flowers.  

Re liriope, Gimglygangly, there is a white variety now ....called Blondie I think.  Tempted to get it.,,if it has those purple flowers it could be nice.  Anyone growing this one?  


While visiting a little nursery out amongst the Norfolk Broads last spring I succumbed to temptation and bought a Helleborus x hybridus Mandela - If I remember correctly it cost an arm and a leg!!!  I can find very little about it on the web other than this snippet 

"Helleborus×hybridus' Mandela' HYBRID LENTEN ROSE
Selfs from a mother plant that produces nicely
shaped, rounded flowers of 'black/burgundy with
nicely overlapping petals held well above the 

I'm so looking forward to seeing it bloom again


I don't know the names of mine (note to self - keep notes). I have a black one, a yellowy/green one, a well-established clump of purply pink ones, a double red, speckledy pink and speckledy white! plus lots of their varied offspring which should flower in spring. Looking forward to seeing what comes up and seeing any new colours. I must stay away from garden centres when they are in season. I can't resist them


Verdun, have you ever bought those bare root ones from Hayloft.

I am not sure of the exact time i bought these, but I didnt start my garden until august2011, the previous photo is the result of one of those bare roots. That was taken in last seasons flowering..i think I bought them then, they flowered like that the following year, 2012/13.

I know you can buy large plants for instant colour, Heligan have a lovely selection, and Hellebore week, but for me, gardening is about growing them from little plants, seeds, cuttings etc.bringing them on and planting out,  for me, thats gardening

I very rarely buy a big plant and plonk it in.I am more the Carl Klien sort of gardener. Beg, steal and borrow.


Hiya lyn

I know where you are coming  from but if you are buying a bare root plant it's not a big jump to buy a fully grown version.  It's about time.  I want it to perform this year not in two,years' time.  As I said I still have the satisfaction of seeing my own seedlings grow too and a couple of those have been quite lovely.  buying three plugs of the same variety when one full sized flowering plant costs the same....well. For me it's a no-brainer.

I have propagated and begged my full share of plants,over the years but now want quality.  No matter what the size, huge thought goes Imto every plant I grow.  

I do envy those who propagate by gathering seed (I'm a cuttings man) because I simply have no such long term confidence.  Here and now for me.  I will get one more hellebore soon for flowering in feb or march 2014...why wait for a plug or bare root to show the odd flower possibly in 2016?


Lyn - i have tried the Hayloft plugs - they have made great healthy plants, but i have had to wait 2 years for flowers.  In the meantime i bought a couple of already blooming ones to tide me over (and curb my impatience).  Have to say the plugs ultimately seem to make better plants for me - but i have only ever used GC for the full grown ones, not a specialist nursery.

know what you mean about nurturing the little ones though - gives a great sense of satisfaction


I understamd whar Verdun is saying. I grow hundreds of Hellebores from seed each year and eventually throw most of them on the compost heap as they are not good enough or are exactly the same as ones I have.

I do the same with Geum too.

In a way it depends on the size of your garden. Filling a huge space like ours say, is expensive so cheap planrs is the way to go. Finding the one plant  which is perfect for the spot in a small garden needs a different approach.

Still would like to get my hands on Hh. purpurascens, viridis,  and any other of the species.

If you can get seed grown H. thibeticus then go for it.