Hellebores, also known as winter roses, are a fantastic addition to those shady spots in the garden and are a lot hardier than people give them credit for.
They are in full bloom during winter months in shades of deep purple, maroon, pink, cream, white and green.
It's not just the rose-like flower that's pretty; the foliage can be a knockout as well.
Hellebores like to grow in shade or dappled light with lots of added compost and leaf litter to keep the roots cool in mid-summer.
Although they look like sissy plants, once they are established they are pretty tough. If you find the right spot where they are happy and do all the soil improvement they can live up to 40 years.
They look spectacular when group-planted in pots. Put them into a camellia/azalea potting mix with a handful of compost and mulch around the top of the pot.
Feed with a slow-release fertiliser for outdoor shrubs and liquid fertilise from the beginning of April until the end of September.
Hellebores are the ideal potted plant for kids; they love the flowers and the foliage, particularly if they are in a hidden spot under trees or near a cubby.