My garden is looking decidedly bleak. There are branches ripped from trees and shrubs bent right over by the recent heavy snow, the paths are coated in soggy leaves and lots of perennials need cutting back. However, I tried to ignore all that and hunt out something in bloom.
There were actually five contenders – a few brave little primrose blooms, the last of the Mahonia x media, a single head of Viburnum x bodnantense, two beautiful camellia buds
and these gorgeous Helleborus orientalis.
I couldn't bring myself to cut the very first single blooms listed above so it is one of the many Hellebore stems that is being brought into the house as Bloom of the Week to see in the start of February.
I still had to force myself to make the cut, convincing myself all the while that it will be enjoyed far more in the house than it would stuck at the top of the garden. I felt so guilty last time I cut them as they didn't last long at all and withered within a day or two. This time I have read up on the subject and have made a cut the length of the stem and put it in a cool place to acclimatise before bringing it into my warm office.
Here it is in my cold garden store, full of promise.
Hellebore Days are held at nurseries and gardens throughout the country, such as
6/7 and 27/28 February at Harveys Garden Plants in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
7 February at Blickling Hall in Norwich, Norfolk
21 February at Hadlow College in West Kent
14 March at Waterperry Gardens near Oxford
I have only a few small plants, it would be lovely to see them en masse.