Friday, 8 February 2013

When Is A Rose Not A Rose?

Throughout the dark days of winter, the garden has lain dormant and with it my horticultural verve. However - unobserved, beneath brown earth, dead leaves and detritus, new green shoots have been speedily unfurling, transforming themselves into the parasol-shaped blooming stems of the Hellebore, or Lenten Rose.

Enticed outside by an unusually beautiful crisp sunny morning, I stepped into the garden and was greeted by the sight of these pretty flowering hellebores beneath the Laburnum tree.

Unpretentious and unassuming, the humble Hellebores bow their heads modestly. Flowering whilst all else in the garden sleeps, they don't try to compete with the flamboyant blooms of Old English Roses or Peonies.


Most bashful of all is the pink flowered Hellebore; blushing as it shyly hangs its head, so that its delicate beauty can only be partially seen.

Seemingly untouched by the frost or snow and impervious to heavy rain, the Hellebores sway with the wind, bobbing their bonnet-like blooms.

In another part of the garden is a statuesque Corsican Hellebore;

thick leathery evergreen leaves edged with tiny spines and heads of cupped pale apple-green flowers.


One of the thick stems has fallen sideways causing the Corsican Hellebore leaves to flop over the granite cobbles.

With their glossy green leaves

and white-green flowers sprinkled inside with a smattering of pink freckles, the Hellebores are a welcome winter addition to the garden, reminding me that the garden is very much alive despite its deceptively lifeless shroud.


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