Colour in the Garden
The Hellebores are great little flowers that are often hidden by their leaves and their drooping flowers. Look underneath and you find this wonderful flower from the white Christmas Rose Helleborus niger to the deep dark Helleborus x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’. The Christmas Rose flowers around Christmas time and then you can have flowers right through to March/April.
These plants are easy to look after and grow well in shady conditions. Ideally plant the paler flowers in the shadier spots to light up the darker corners. The darker flowers need to be seen and they won’t be stuck in a shady corner, so semi shade for them.
Another great little winter plant is the Cyclamen hederifolium, these hardy plants make lovely swathes of colour. If you plant them in semi-shade in a humus rich location that will not dry out in the summer they will thrive. I tend to plant mine underneath Cornus or Hydrangeas where they will get the shade in the summer to protect them.
If you’re wanting something a little more blousy and in your face the Bergenia cordifolia or Elephants Ears. This plant has wavy leaves that are about 30cms long with stems of 60cms with sprays of pink flowers. They are again an easy plant to grow and unlike the two above enjoy sunshine or semi shade. There are many varities, if you prefer white flowers Bergenia ‘Bressingham White‘ or purple leaves try B. cordifolia ‘Purpurea
Or a Bergenia that many plantsmen rate is the one raised by Eric Smith of ‘The Plantsmen’.
“Undoubtedly the best for winter effect; large, rounded, crinkled leaves have polished bronze-tinted surfaces while backs, caught in low sunlight, glow rich carmine-red. 46 cm.” BethChatto.co.uk