Resilient hellebores


After all the snow and cold weather, it’s no surprise that plants are emerging much later than usual – but I am so pleased that the hellebore I planted last year at Scott Road has completely recovered from being covered in a blanket of snow in March – it was in full flower before the deluge, but doesn’t appear to have suffered any adverse effects – and it’s going on and on! I recently learned that the old foliage should be removed to ensure full flowering – as you can see, this does appear to have been successful. I will leave the foliage for as long as it is presentable – it’s attractive and has the added bonus of being unappealing to slugs and snails – probably as it’s poisonous.

I love this watercolour by the architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1915), held in the British Gallery at the V&A in London.

Named ‘Hellebore Green’ It looks like Helleborus foetidus (or stinking hellebore for obvious reasons) to me, it captures the green tinge of the flowers and the spiky nature of the leaves.

I have quite a spread of Helleborus argutifolius, a similar looking plant (without the smell) at Scott Road. This self seeds prolifically – I’ve used it to good effect in Autumn planted pots, accompanied by red stemmed dogwood, euphorbia amygdaloides ‘purpurea’ and burgundy coloured pansies.

I haven’t yet divided the lovely specimen growing at Aberglasne, this is a job best left until September when it starts to die down – note for the diary lest I forget – I want to plant some at the back of the pond at Scott Road for flowering early next year.