Sometimes over looked as a plant for spring containers (though I have seen them used as bedding at Canary Wharf, London), Helleborus are looking amazing this spring. Not only are their flowers stunning, their dark green cut leaves also provide a wonderful backing for the flowers. They are not cheap but a good sized plant in full flower should be around £15.00.
There are some super varieties of Helleborus niger about and available for cheering up containers that are looking rather ragged after the hard winter. Look out for the pink flowered H.Winter Sunshine, the brilliant white H.Josef Lamper and the pretty freckled white. H.Cinderella.
After flowering they can be left in containers or moved to a shady part of the yard for the summer.