Helleborus orientalis ‘Anja Oudolf’
I have acquired a new hellebore. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Deep pink buds which take on increasing tints of yellow as the bloom opens. The inner side of each petal is streaked with pink and retains the colour on the edge even as the flower matures. If Ptolemy the pheasant has the top off this one even I may be getting the recipe book out.
Helleborus orientalis ‘Double Yellow Speckled’
I couldn’t resist this rather lovely double either. Well, it was Valentine’s Day. A fact that I felt compelled to mention to Mike as his eyes popped out on the proverbial stalks when we got to the till.
Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’
Meanwhile, last month’s indulgence is settling in well.
Hellebores come but once a year and what else is there to drool over in February?
As it turns out, quite a lot. There are snowdrops. The ‘ordinary’ drops are now much in evidence, carpeting the woodland floor.
Wild primroses just starting to pop up.
And a rivulet of blue trickling down the slope.
The miniature narcissus that I love so much and have only just dared to plant out. Mice do seem to leave them alone. Didn’t I read somewhere that the bulbs are poisonous? This one survived an attack in the cold frame, the species tulip placed alongside it has been consigned to history I fear.
Narcissus bulbocodium var. citrinus
Iris reticulata ‘Katherine Hodgkin’
Bulbs are such a problem here but this clump of iris, thin as it may be, has a partial success story to tell.
Last autumn I started planting bulbs into wire cages in the ground in a last ditch attempt to defeat the mice. And for the first time since we’ve been here they’ve actually come up! The trouble is I now need cages above ground too. Most of the flower heads have been nipped off. Not eaten, just discarded on the ground. The earlier emerging Iris ‘Pauline’ went the same way.
We will persevere. Hope Over Experience.
Isn’t that what gardening is all about?
Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here), where you will find many other February bloomers from around the world.