Today was a lovely bright sunny day but I had lots to do so that I only had a short spell of gardening. I tackled most of the shredding from my last bout of cutting back, but darkness overtook me before I got the final load completed!
My friend Paddy mentioned in his blog that he was cutting back the Helebore leaves so that inspired me to go out and check how mine are doing! I have a double one that started flowering way back in about September I think – and it has some pretty spectacular leaf damage so that task now goes to the top of the list.
|Helleborus Orientalis Double Ellen White
Heleborus Niger is also in flower now
Helleborus Orientalis \’Red Hybrids\’ has self-seeded and this one has come true to the original colour. The old leaves are completely flattened so the sooner they are removed the sooner the new growth will develop and I will have a lovely clump of deep pink flowers to enjoy!
Last year was the first time I tried this technique and the Helebores all round the garden repaid me by flowering their socks off for months so it is definitely worth the effort. I also plan to take the opportunity to move some of the more crowded ones to other borders where there is no Winter or Spring colour helping me to get closer to having flowers all year round in much of the garden. However I also need to be ruthless and where the Heleborus Foetida and Helleborus Argutifolius seedlings are trying for world domination to thin them back to single plants!
Helebores are inclined to be a bit promiscuous so to avoid ending up with very nondescript flowers I find that I need to remove the less attractive seedlings when they first flower. Any time spent caring for my helebores is time well spent in my book because of the long and generous flowering season of these winter beauties!