February 2015

LEAFING BACK to my February 2014 diary page I admit to being entranced more than ever by hellebores, the Lenten rose. Seemingly irresistible to slugs I struggled to grow them in my London clay, whilst here, aside from generous mulchings of leaf mould, in free-draining soil they thrive.

Now, looking closely at the earth around them I see they have self-seeded prolifically (ah, the unexpected joys of gardening) and I can look forward to a batch of new flowers in two to three years time.

Specialist nurseries have a delectable choice available although this is an expensive group of plants to collect. Ashwood Nurseries sell singles for £14.95 but ‘Kingston Cardinal’ a newly introduced double is £19.95 and a rare single yellow is £29.95. The RHS warns of problems specific to hellebores, including ‘hellebore black death’ so I count my blessings and with such delights on my computer screen attempt to stop this browsing.

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