HELIOPSIS

P. Border plants with sunflower-like blooms which are excellent for cutting. Resistant to drought. All are yellow or orange, flower from July onwards and are increased by division in spring or autumn. Light of Loddon grows to about 4 ft. with single, bright yellow blooms — Incomparabilis has rich orange-yellow, almost double blooms, shaped like a zinnia, growing to 3 ft.

HELIOTROPIUM, HELIOTROPE or CHERRY PIE Favourite bedding subjects with very fragrant lavender-purple flowers on plants varying in height from 15 to 30 in. Although perennial, they are often treated as half-hardy annuals. Plants can, however, be lifted in September before the first real frosts and wintered in a frostproof greenhouse. Cuttings can then be taken the following spring.

HELLEBORUS Of much value in the garden as some species flower in the open when little else is in bloom. Helleborus niger has for its bloom the well-known flower Christmas rose, beautiful in its waxy-white and delicate blush tint. All helleborus should be left undisturbed for as long as possible.

H. corsicus is evergreen with nodding apple-green flowers on 2 ft. stems in February H. orientalis is the Lenten rose with very wide leaves and plum-purple, white, rose or pale pink flowers borne on 18 in. stems in early spring. All helleborus are content with ordinary soil but will do better in well-manured fibrous loam mixed with coarse sand, for stagnant moisture is not good for them. They dislike hot sunny positions. Propagation may be made by division, July being a good time, when the plants are in full vigour; and they may also be raised from seed sown under glass, the seedlings being pricked out into a shady border of rich soil as soon as they are large enough to bear moving. In the following year they may be transplanted to their permanent quarters, and by the third year they should bloom.

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