Helleborus purpurascens - Often the first flowers can be seen low to the ground in December (usually before the new foliage appears), but they continue to open as the red-spotted stems grow, right through until early spring. A variable but very pretty deciduous clump-forming perennial that makes excellent groundcover in partial shade.
We asked the Chair of the Peony Society to share her no-nonsense tips for how to grow the perfect, blousy peonies - including how to plant them, care for them and how to help them look their best once they've been cut and arranged in a vase.
Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' Jacobs ladder. Full sun or partial shade, fully hardy This delightful and colourful perennial is ideal for edging a partially shaded border, or for growing beside a woodland path. Garden care: Cut the plant back straightaway after flowering to encourage a second flush of flowers. In autumn cut the faded flowerheads down to the ground and compost the dead stems.