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Hellebores provide a stunning focal point for a garden still in the depths of winter. Buds start to appear in December and some varieties remain open until May. These plants come in various colours ranging from white through to pink and black in speckled, double or plain forms.

Quick facts

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My favourite hellebore at the moment is ‘Cally Mix’ obtained from Cally Gardens in Fife. When I turn the flower up, it looks like it has been crafted from sugar. (It looks a little ragged now but more buds are on their way!) The gentle blush of pink on a creamy green background make up the petal colours with a delicate middle which twists this way and that. It is a perfect joy to walk past.

 

Most hellebores are evergreen and although they can tolerate full sun they prefer partial or dappled shade such as under trees. There are also some hellebores that can grow in dry places, clay soil and a mixture of conditions. In general these plants dislike both dry or waterlogged soil so they need to be mulched with plenty of organic matter every year.

 

Hellebores are poisonous and a skin irritant and caution, as with all plants, should be exercised at all times. However this should not detract from the beauty these graceful plants add to a winter's garden.

 

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Family: Ranunculaceae

Average height: 45 - 90cm

Average spread: 0.3 - 1.2m

Flowers between: Dec - Apr

Soil type: fertile

Sun/shade: Dappled shade

Hardiness: Hardy

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