Since 2015 she’s run the NT’s Heritage Horticultural Program, delivering practical workshops to hundreds of garden staff members. Here, she explains how to handle your hellebores so that you can enjoy a quality display of flowers for years to come.
How to handle and divide your hellebores
“I inherited a garden with quite a collection of hellebores, ranging from creamy white, through yellow, speckled pink to the richest burgundy.”, Kate explains. “They do well in this damp Welsh garden that has sunshine in summer but lots of shade all winter long.”
“Hellebores provide a great show in late winter and spring, but they do take up a lot of space in the summer months with their large spreading leaves. For this reason, it’s wise to ensure they earn their keep by taking a hellebore ‘audit’.”
Holly-leaved hellebores. Credit: Shutterstock
“Spring is the best time for an hellebore audit, while the flowers are in full bloom. Consider whether your hellebores are in the right place. You could also look at whether they are the right colour – perhaps the borders are increasingly turning a middling shade of pink.Helleborus orientalis is a promiscuous plant. It sets seed prolifically and doesn’t mind who it mixes with, resulting in a myriad of hybrid seedlings.”
Hellebores in Kate’s garden. Credit: Kate Nicoll
“The precious double dark beauty I’d spotted on a visit to Tyntesfield a couple of years ago has finally settled in prime position outside my basement window, where I can gaze into its multi-petalled silky flowers while washing up. It is surrounded by many seedlings which threaten to crowd out the mother plant. It’s difficult to know whether these are offspring carrying that dark double gene, or whether they have crossed with aRead more on theenglishgarden.co.uk