THE GARDEN ON THE HILL

Hay Bluff as seen from the garden
Towards Old Colwall
behind the garden the Worcestershire Beacon rises above the woodland, illuminated by late afternoon sun in winter
a November sunset
winter mist over Herefordsire
winter colour below a gravel garden
various Rhododendrons give us flowers from December to June
the summer months are colourful with roses and herbaceous perennials
and lots of Hydrangeas take us through to autumn
autumn burns with colour and maples are a vital ingredient
Starting with plants for interest in the winter months. This Helleborus in the group known as H. x ballardii obligingly has some flowers open for Christmas
There is quite a wide range of these lovely hybrids which are colourful over a long period. This one is ‘Pennys Red’. Behind is H. argutifolius, a now distant relative. Both are tolerant of dry planting sites. I find that slight shade helps them through a hot summer.
Ashwood Nurseries grow their own range of lovely hybrids. This very sturdy one is blasted almost non-stop by westerly winds; yet, still remains intact over a very long period.
Ashwood have raised some really good yellow flowered hybrids. I find them much more difficult to grow than most other sorts. The first yellow I saw was raised by Helen Ballard. I think the original plant was achieved by crossing with Helleborus colchicus. After a few years Helen had a whole north facing border filled with magnificent clumps of her various yellow hybrids. Helen’s husband, Philip, grew many of his snowdrops in the same border.
My wife does not really like Helleborus with very dark coloured flowers. In truth she is not that keen on a seedling which bears her name ! The one in this picture is only about 30cm tall.
Helleborus ‘Meriel Picton’
a very compact growing hybrid of Helleborus thibeticus, from a breeder in Japan