It’s hellebore season again.  The strong, waxy petals are well adapted to standing up to wind and rain; the long-lasting flowers offer a feast of pollen and nectar to insects venturing out of hibernation on a mild sunny day. They may have to wait a while for foraging bees.

 

This plant, growing in a pot by our back door, has been in flower since Christmas.  It’s an interspecific hybrid (H. x ballardiae Snow Dance) with flowers held well above the leaves, delighting the human passerby but susceptible to damage by rain and snow.

 

The lenten roses (Helleborus x orientalis seedlings brought from our York garden) are only just coming into flower. Their heads hang down, protecting the flowers from rain, so they’re not showy from a distance.  It’s only if you take the trouble to cross the waterlogged lawn, bend down and gently turn a flower face upwards that you can really admire the hidden patterns of coloured freckles. The unexpected variety and occasional beauties make the effort worthwhile.