The sun is shining and it’s properly wintery at Wisley today. The crisp, chilly weather makes the garden look very “seasonal”, and it’s full of delights.
Our Winter Walk, around Seven Acres, is wonderful. There is colour, scent and texture from the ground up, and at that level, one of the best bits in February are the hellebores. We have a few, but among them, I particularly rate ‘Anna’s Red’.
To give it its full name, Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) ‘Anna’s Red’ is a deep red, single hellebore that flowers for several weeks and looks especially eye-catching when the sun shines through the petals (botanically, these are sepals).
As a ground-level plant, it sparkles on the woodland floor (unshaded in winter), path-side or full sun location – wherever you choose – with flower heads around 3-4cm across. Inside, the distinct creamy-yellow stamens stand out against the purple red that surrounds them. To top it off, the dark, leathery leaves have an attractive fine veining that has a pinkish tinge at this time of year. The effect is lovely, and en masse works really well.
Hellebores mix easily with lots of plants. In our case, we grow it alongside mounds of fine-leaved, yellow sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ AGM) and complementary orange and yellow-stemmed dogwoods (Cornus) that contrast against the dark green leaves and rich red of the hellebores.
Seasonal hellebore care
Buy 'Anna's Red' direct from RHS Plants