I had a very pleasant surprise this morning on my walk around the estate! I was eagerly lapping up all the signs of life returning to the garden. The enlarging clumps of snowdrops, the pink pinpricks of the cyclamen coum forcing their way through the leaves, and the first hellebore buds showing bright flashes of red and yellow. And meanwhile, revelling in all the winter perfume from sarcococcas, Chimonanthes, lonicera and mahonia.
But then I noticed this little beauty – Helleborus bocconei. Its very first flower!
This hellebore was given to me by a fellow blogger, Cathy from “Rambling in the garden”, several years ago (maybe about four?) when she paid us a visit. A seedling then, that she had propagated, but which has not made much progress since. Each year a new leaf would come to replace the old one that died off but that was it. I wasn’t very hopeful of it flourishing. Then today I saw its very first flower!
A beautiful lime green – when you raise the flower head up!
And I’ve read it’s scented too! So now I’ve got to get down on my hands and knees!
I posted a photo on Instagram four days ago, of our clump of colchicums, remarking how these delicate flowers, which are one of the first signals of autumn in our garden, are so fleeting. No sooner do they appear than they get battered and devoured by slugs before you can grab your camera. Four days later, I’ve had plenty of time to grab the camera. They’re still standing strongly, with the colour deepening, and the flowers opening in the sunshine.
This is the best and longest display we’ve had yet, thanks to the kind weather we’ve had recently.
The slugs and snails will have to wait a bit longer for their banquet!