One of the delights of gardening in a cool climate is that we can grow hellebores. Or rather, they can grow themselves and flower prolifically, with little human interference.
Hellebores are perennial ground-covering plants that enjoy shaded areas. The back corner of one of my garden beds has been colonised by these independent plants. Their luxuriant leaves cover the ground throughout spring and summer and help stifle weeds. Once the deciduous trees around them drop their leaves, the sunlight nourishes the hellebores. That’s when the magic happens and flower buds start to appear.
Now is the time to remove any damaged leaves. Snails have feasted on my hellebore leaves during the rainy periods we had this year. Not only does removing the leaves tidy the plants but it also allows the flowers to become more visible as they unfurl.
I’m not fond of the very dark burgundy hellebores because they look almost black and the flowers don’t stand out the shady spaces. I do, though, have a variety of white, pale pinks, green and lemon colours as well as the ‘freckled’ ones. New stock is in nurseries now so it’s a good time to purchase and plant.
I’ve purchased two new plants – one with pale pink blooms and the other with white. It was difficult to choose so perhaps another visit to the garden centre would be a good thing?
Hellebores self-sow easily, which means they spread prolifically and different colour combinations can emerge – all without me doing a single thing. That’s my idea of a low maintenance plant.
In late spring, trim the flowering stems to ground level and spread compost. That’s it! Not all gardening is meant to be hard work.