My ‘other garden’ has been left to its own devices for a couple of months, so it’s more wild than garden at present.  Fortunately the hellebores, at the shady end of the garden, seem to thrive on neglect.  Lots of buds are forming, ready for early spring flowering.   A few have been fooled by the unseasonal weather into opening two months early.

The hellebores in the garden are mostly seedlings from Helleborus orientalis hybrids, with flowers in white, pinks or dusky purple.  There’s some Helleborus corsicus in the mix too, which accounts for the boldly marked leaves of this white flowered plant.

The flowers, battered by rain and wind, are far from perfect but they stand out as bright spots of colour among the subdued greens and browns of the winter garden.  Their nectar may be a lifeline for out of season insects, tempted out of hibernation on a mild, sunny morning.