Day 94: Helleborus 'Hillier Hybrid Slate'

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

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Plant breeders can be an optimistic lot. So much so that it’s not uncommon for flowers touted as ‘black’ to require the most strenuous act of imagination to be seen as anything other than a darkish kind of purple. This hellebore must be the exception that proves the rule; billed as ‘Slate’, suggesting grey, the sepals are the most wonderful iridescent, crow black – as black as the buds on the ash tree, but with an oil-slick sheen. The plant itself has done that fairly typical hellebore thing of looking wonderful in the nursery, then pretending to be dead for a couple of years in the garden, then finally in about year three deciding that it might as well put on a show. It was worth the wait.


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.

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