|Helleborus x hybridus 'White spotted double'|
|One of my own seedlings|
|A dark flowered seedling at Binny Plants|
|A double white cultivar at Binny Plants|
These days people go mad for the spotted flowering hellebores, especially double whites, of which there are many strains. Another popular group are the very dark, almost black flowering strains. Many of these are sold under a non-specific name such as Hellebore 'Double White Spotted' or Hellebore 'Pink Lady Spotted' or Hellebore 'Black Form'. Because these are all grown from seed there will variations in the pattern of spotting or colour so its always best to buy in flower. That way you can choose the best of the bunch. I once bought H.'Yellow Queen', but when it flowered it was pink!
|Dingle Gardens, Wales|
|Helleborus x hybridus White spotted double|
Hellebores can be bought and planted at any time of year, if bought in pots. Autumn is a good time, so they can get their roots into the warm soil before winter and prepare to flower the following spring. A pinch of general fertiliser will give them a boost when planting and in spring, once you have spring-cleaned the garden. For some interesting cultivars, strains and species have a look at the following nurseries:
A good way to see Hellebores is to visit some of the great gardens open in spring or some of the nurseries specialising in Hellebores (see above). I have visited Ashwood Nursery several times and the gardens at this time of year abound with mouthwatering Hellebores. Binny Plants also has an exciting collection in their woodland garden, with many seedlings from Helen Ballard, a famous Hellebore breeder in the 1950's and 60's.
|Helleborus x hybridus 'Ashwood Garden hybrids'|
|Helleborus orientalis 'Harvington Pink Speckled''|
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