The hellebores are out en masse. We had a wicked cold snap a few weeks ago and I thought the initial blossoms were goners. The first of the blooms were out when the below freezing, below zero "with wind chill" weather decended upon us. The snap lasted about 3 days and the hellebores green and purple heads were bent to the ground in shock. I know that hellebores thrive in far colder climates than ours; they are afterall a winter bloomer. But the Northwest has pretty mild winters overall, even if we do get the occasional ice or snow storm. I thought that my hellebores might be too used to their relatively comfortable existence and as such, not make it through the surprise, prolonged arctic blast.
But they are of course fine now. Faces up, in full bloom. Happily reminding us that spring is really coming. They are truly one of my favorite flowers from any of the seasons throughout the year; it's not just that they are special because they are blooming when most everything else is dormant. I love to see them in combination with the foliage of the purple euphorbias and the deliciously fragrant daphe. Not only are they a wonderful variation on the green/purple/pink/white combination I so love, but combined, they feature rich, heady scent, beautiful flower shape and graphic expression along with the emotion and excitement of the promise of warmer days. Scent, sight and the imagination. What could be better?