Hunting for Hellebores.

Keeping all the snowdrops company at the moment are the beautiful Hellebores that are flowering in the woodland and all the shady borders. So many fascinating new cultivars are being introduced to the market all the time, so when I found a couple of areas which needed brightening up, the decision was made to go hunting for Hellebores.



We have a nursery fairly near to us, just where the borders of Devon, Somerset and Dorset meet, that has a  reputation for good hellebores, that nursery is R.D. Plants, and is on the road between Chard and Axminster, just outside the village of Tytherleigh.


The nursery is usually open from March to June, but each year they open on Feb. 1st just for hellebore fanatics like me!


They don’t have a web site, they don’t do mail order, they don’t accept cards as payment, just as well we had enough cash between us as I had forgotten to take my cheque book! Word of mouth and a recommendation by the RHS is obviously enough to bring people flocking.


These are the three that tempted me, I think they will have to stay on the front porch for the next few days as the weather forecast is for lots of frost, here they will be quite sheltered, not as much as when they were in their poly tunnel, but enough I think.

Yes, happiness is definitely hunting for Hellebores!

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24 Responses to Hunting for Hellebores.

  1. ooOOooo you terrible tease, Pauline how lucky to have such a wonderful nursery so close, probably just well you didn’t take your cheque book or you might have bought the polytunnel full 😉
    all the hellebores I bought last year were specis but if things go well with them I might start looking for cultivars later this year, first Carolyn now you encouraging me, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      You might be right Frances, just as well I forgot the cheque book !! Hope your Hellebores do well, then you will become as besotted as I am!!

  2. wellywoman says:

    Thanks for the tip, Pauline. My sister-in-law lives in Chard and I think we’re visiting them in Feb, might just have to take a detour and get a few hellebores. I do love them they are such beautiful plants and go on flowering for ages and I love the spiky foliage too.

    • Pauline says:

      Don’t forget your cheque book WW, he certainly had some lovely plants to tempt you! Wasn’t sure if we had found the right place to start with, but the poly tunnel is round the back and the plants all looked well looked after.

  3. What is that hellebore in the second to last photo? It looks like some kind of species cross with H. niger in it, but I have never seen that color flowers. Gorgeous. I have to know!!!

    • Pauline says:

      Carolyn, I think you are right, it must have H.niger in its makeup, it is a new hybrid, just out, so costs 3 times the price of the others! It is also twice the height and the flowers are huge. I see from the label in the photo that it is protected by Plant Breeders Rights so I don’t think the price will come down for some time. I will wait patiently!!

  4. Lyn says:

    Pauline, I enjoy your blog so much that I want to give you a Versatile Blogger Award. I’ve announced the award and linked to you on this post, which also has instructions on passing the award on if you wish to:

  5. Ah Pauline, you succumbed to temptation. I would have too and I always carry a cheque book just in case! I particularly like the deep red one in the second from end photo.

    • Pauline says:

      Hardly ever carry a cheque book these days Janet, just cards, I’ve learnt my lesson! The red one is gorgeous but very expensive as it’s a new hybrid, I think we will all have to wait a few years until it more affordable!

  6. Alberto says:

    I’m so glad for you! It must have been a very nice trip, and you had a beautiful selection of hellebores to choose from! The red one (labelled Anna something) is the you I’d picked but then I think the three you bought are more eye catching in the winter garden with paler colours than the red one. So you finally are going to have some frost? Here we are experiencing a very cold and strong wind from east and a lot of snow, fotunately not where I live but in almost all other parts of Italy.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Alberto, winter has arrived at last! Everyone seems to love the large red hellebore, but dare I say it, I thought it was too big! I already have one similar which is pink, and each time I look at it, I feel it doesn’t have the magic of the other smaller ones. I think this weekend we are going to get a lot of snow from Europe, will have to wait and see if any is brought down to the SW of the country!

  7. stone says:

    I must have read your post wrong… It sounded like you were holding off on planting because frost was predicted… I should dig up the pic I took last year of the hellebore flower encased in ice… and wasn’t bothered a bit!

    Those plants are purdy, and I think I woulda bought the new cultivars, and let them keep the ones that all the neighbors already had….

    You might enjoy checking the Terra Nova website and make out a wish list…

    I’ve been planting some of those jewels, and can’t wait for them to reach blooming size!

    • Pauline says:

      I was only delaying planting Stone, because the hellebores that I bought have only known a sheltered life in a poly tunnel up till now, they will need to be acclimatised gradually, and also the ground is frozen solid at the moment. All the hellebores in the garden are fine once they thaw out from the frost.
      Love the Winter Jewels hellebores on your link, thank you for giving me that, don’t think we have that strain over here, but some are similar.

  8. debsgarden says:

    I love the three you chose, especially the frilly white one! I want to add some more hellebores to my own collection. I have white, purple, and pinks. Now I want gold ones! If I can find them. I have hunting of my own to do!

    • Pauline says:

      The frilly white one is gorgeous Debs, it has a few purple streaks on it among all the double petals, will photograph it properly when I do a post about Hellebores. A gold Hellebore, that really would be worth hunting down, I have a couple of yellow ones but couldn’t really say that they are gold!!

  9. stone says:

    “the ground is frozen solid at the moment”
    Ok, I’ll cut you some slack… Nobody could be expected to plant in frozen ground…

    Those new introductions from Terra Nova are just hitting a few dealers this year… I’m seeing some real beauties on my facebook groups, too…

    Growing in those poly-tunnels… I suspect the growers are creating difficult plants by growing them that way… I published a post about developing hardier plants… Landrace crops.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, and leaving a comment.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for getting back to me Stone and for your comments. I agree totally that plants grown in poly tunnels face a difficult time if not hardened off first, thanks for the link to your post, found it very interesting.

  10. Do you know the cultivar name of the special hellebore?

    • Pauline says:

      Sorry Carolyn, over here Hellebores are sold mainly as seed strains as in the past seedlings of named varieties have been sold under their parents names, and of course most of them turned out differently. I think I can see the name “Anna” on the plant label, I Googled Hellebore Anna and up came Anna’s Red, it looks just the same, but can’t guarantee it is the same!

  11. I just checked on my hellebore yesterday and some are budding and some are blooming. Happiness is hellebore…indeed! I like the color of your selected specimens.

    • Pauline says:

      So glad you like them SG,can’t wait to plant them when the frost eventually goes! Saw a Bumble bee the other day that had been tempted out by the sunshine, thank goodness the hellebores were there to provide it with food!

  12. Temptation, so sad that by the time I return to Canada, most of the helleborus offered for sale will be out of flower. I like to buy them when I can see the flower, and can be sure of what I am purchasing.

    • Pauline says:

      I can understand that Deborah, it really is best if you can see them in flower isn’t it, such a shame and frustrating for you, maybe when your 3 yrs are up….?

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