Ashwood Hellebore Nursery

18_02_15_8485There have not been many perfect sunny days so far in 2018 and I was lucky to be part of a private visit to Ashwood Hellebore Nursery with the Leicestershire & Rutland Gardens Trust on an exceptionally sunny day.18_02_15_8486This was the first time I had visited the nursery and I have to say the stock looked very healthy and was extensive.

The guided “Hellebore Tour” gave us a fascinating insight into the history of Ashwood Hybrid Hellebores. 18_02_15_8489Part of the propagation shed full of hellbore stock.18_02_15_8491Our guide explaining the process of pollination and selection. I had heard that they were trying to develop hellebores which held their heads up. However, this is no longer the case as they found that, with the open flower upwards, they suffered from the rain etc. They now concentrate on flowers whose backs have more interest as it is the backs that are most viable from above.

never the less the stock plants clearly demonstrated why their hellebores are world famous.

18_02_15_8507As well as the hellebores, the private visit included a tour around “John’s Garden”. John’s Garden is the private garden of John Massey, owner of Aswood Nurseries. It is situated behind the nursery in a canal-side setting, in the lovely open countryside of South Staffordshire. The garden has been developed since 1998.18_02_15_8503We were lucky to have John taking us around. He is an encyclopedia of plant knowledge and a great guide which made that garden come alive. He explained about transparency pruning and the importance of respecting a tree’s natural shape and form. The garden has a lot of shrubs that have been pruned in this way and I am sure any gardener would find this interesting.18_02_15_8505

Throughout the garden there are some great examples of sculpture. The canal can be seen towards the back of some of these pictures.18_02_15_851318_02_15_8512Looking both ways along the pond.

As you would expect there are many interesting plants. The garden worked exceptionally well as a winter garden but from the photos of the garden at other times it would certainly be worth a visit on one of the open days.



22 thoughts on “Ashwood Hellebore Nursery

  1. Thank you for sharing this visit. Garden visiting or the lack of it is one of the things I miss most about living in England. Interesting that they have decided to hybridize for exterior interest rather than the flower heads turning up. It makes lots of sense and then there is still that special moment when you do lift their heads to see into the flower.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucky you, I always wanted to visit this garden. The late Princess Sturdza of Le Vasterival used to talk about ‘la taille de transparence’ if you visited her superb garden. Her trees were all beautifully pruned. I would love to learn how to do this.

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  3. What a beautiful garden to visit on such a gloriously sunny day. Those hellebores are to die for. As my garden is very young and has no shade, my first attempt at growing hellebores came to nought as I couldn’t nurse them through the hot summer, but I’ll certainly be trying again in time.

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    • Growing from seed is one of our problems as they do self seed a lot and we suddenly find them everywhere! Not sure you can call them Ashwood hybrids then as they do not come true! so we call them Glebe House hybrids.


  4. Pingback: End of Month View – February 2018 | Glebe House Garden

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