I'm trying to plan a border. Just moved house last summer, and We have one with a lot of hellebores, and not much else. We have lots of rabbits, so needs to be rabbit resistant. So far I've decided I want snow in summer, some nice ferns, some spiky phlox (?) maybe a couple of peonies. What else would you recommend? It's about 1.5m wide by about 6metres.... Are there any good websites out there for this sort of thing? I'm an enthusiastic beginner really. I feel like a need something else to keep structure in winter ...
In my hellebore bed, I have lots of spring bulbs! Aconites, snowdrops, tulipa sylvatica, and erythroniums plus a mahonia 'caress' for structure. Also pulmonaria and primroses and a magnolia stellata. It really is a spring border mainly, But in summer, I have a darker brown/red set of plants - ligularia 'the rocket', persicaria 'red dragon' and lysemachia 'firecracker', with orange crocosmia and thalictrum for later summer. Cornus canadensis gives me some autumn colour.
My hellebores are under an Acer, and under them are some Sweet Woodruff which spread like crazy and gives fantastic ground cover year round. Which in turn houses multiple species of insect life and keeps the weeds down.
Sweet woodruff is fantastic stuff! I use it under my hedge where it's really, really dark and it has such lovely star-like flowers. But its delicate appearance belies a thuggish nature. It really does spread!