When gardening in and around Mt Eliza and the Mornington Peninsula people often ask me for plant recommendations especially in semi shaded aspects and under the dappled light of taller trees.
My immediate response are Hellebores. I have seen them growing and thriving in this area. They are easy to fall in love with when you see the flowers with their dainty heads nodding in the breeze in a range of pretty colours. If left to grow they can spread and cover the ground. They are very tough and need little attention apart from cutting back the foliage in March. Hellebores on the Peninsula will flower from winter to spring, the blooms lasting for months. The flowers are shaped like a cup with both single and double petalled varieties. Colours range from metallic black, dusty pink, lime green, whit and bolder shades of maroon.
Hellebores generally suit temperate to cold climates like we experience here on the Mornington Peninsula. The best growing conditions are in soil that has plenty of compost and good drainage. Watering may be required over a dry summer. Any burnt leaves can be cut off in autumn to allow new leaves to flourish and the flowers are easier to see. Fertilise with an organic feed and spread mulch around them to keep plants cool over summer. One of the benefits of growing them is snails and slugs are not in the slightest bit interested.
So go ahead and brighten your winter months with these beautiful tough perennials.
The best place to purchase these stunning plants is The Post Office Farm Nursery. Have a look at their online store.