Thursday, January 27, 2011

Frosty morning 4 - hellebores

I don't really give these the attention they deserve.  Not quite Christmas roses, but budding and flowering bravely when little else wants to know.

As well as the daintier purple and yellow ones above, we have quite a lot of the big light green ones, which tend to grow rather monstrous and sprawl about in a fleshy and ungainly manner,

 but since they are doing so in an otherwise somewhat lost space under the birch trees, we leave them to it.  lately, however, after many years, they underwent and explosion of self-seeding, and their engaging still small-leaved offspring are scattered all over the soil in their thousands.

Not quite sure what we'll do when they all grow into grotesque splayed-out triffids, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.


the polish chick said...

i'd frame and hang the first two photos.

also, are those snails on the last photo?

Fire Bird said...

love those frosty edges

Lucy said...

Thank you.

I don't know what the snaily things are! I didn't notice them at the time, they might be just some dead matter, seed husks or leaves or something, but they might be snails... I'll go and have another look and see if they're still there.

Plutarch said...

Hellebores deserve more attention than they get, possibly because they flower at an akward time of year, and unlike snowdrops have a cumbersome habit. Your frosty one are lovely to think about,

christopher said...

:D I love it you used "triffids" as a description.

As far as I can see triffid is a totally unique word sourced solely in John Wyndham's 1951 novel. It gets over 80,000 hits on Google. Thus we see how a language can grow from any of us under the right circumstance.

I understood your usage perfectly, of course, though the original European triffid was capable of being 8' high and fully developed triffids actually can walk if they must and possibly use their lower stalks to bang out messages to each other. And of course they can eat you after they kill you.

There is a Triffid Park near Melbourne in Australia. Carnivorous plants are grown there.

YourFireAnt said...

I've always loved that word, thought it could be a good cuss word.


p.s Love the photos, esp. first one (without snails).

Thomas said...

The hellebore seedlings will be thinned, the remaining ones being allowed to grow and develop, to cover an area of the secret garden that has always posed problems. If they think they can fix the problem, I'm quite happy to let them have a go. The garden is a shared experience.


The Crow said...

In photos 5, 6, 7, and 8 the leaves look as if they are beaded - so beautiful.

This is a wonderful series of images, Lucy.

Rouchswalwe said...

Sometimes it is a good thing to have to wait and see. The day of the triffids will come. Until then, let's drink Porter!

Lucy said...

Heheh, the snails turned out to be some dried seed pods of another taller plant nearby, perhaps an antirrhinum or liatris... not sure, it was very dead.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

The bad weather here in Wales didn't kill off the hellebores... they're much too tough for that... but it did set them back a bit. (That and the fact that I cut them back sharply whenever the leaves become too large and leathery, as I find they flower more prolifically when I do so. Less shelter the slugs too.) So this season we're off to a slow start, and I have fears for my 'black' hellebore, which while ravishingly beautiful has never flourished with such vigour as her paler sisters, and has yet to put on any new growth from the beneath the tender shoots that were blasted by the deep, iron-hard frosts of November/December.

Lucy, you're lucky with your many plants. For me there can never be too many Hellebores. They reward and reward, and I love painting them too.

I've been an infrequent commentator here of late, and my apologies for that. The forthcoming months will be even crazier for me than have the past four, as the deadline for book and exhibition celebrating my sixtieth birthday roll ever closer. The list of things to be done gets longer the harder I work. How can that possibly be? I'm in Alice territory here!

Verification word today, 'penciest', which I fancy must mean the sharpest pencil in the box!