Heaving with Hellebores8th March 2014 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Everywhere I look in the garden the ground is thick with hellebore seedlings – I can scarcely credit there was a time when I really struggled to grow them, now I have to treat the majority of the seedlings as weeds or they will crowd out everything else and never amount to much themselves. So, I will transplant some into the shady areas where there is still space for a few more, pot some up to grow on and give away and hoe up the rest. It seems sacrilegious, but it is also an example of how, if you get the conditions right, a plant will thrive and multiply. Our light sandy soil is not their preferred habitat, but over the years I have mulched the woodland areas with shredded bark that retains moisture and adds organic matter. The other way to keep hellebores happy is to make sure that they are not too closely overhung by shrubs or trees in the summer – they like light dappled shade, not Stygian gloom.