I was pleased to find another hellebore just about to open a few days ago but a little puzzled that despite supposedly being yellow she was already displaying a lot of pink froth. Sue at From Sewing Room to Potting Shed showed a picture of her ‘Harvington Double Yellow’ on her blog and I remembered I had bought one of these last year in full flower, so I knew mine was yellow then, and Sue assured me hers didn’t have a pink inbetween stage! On checking my labels, the pink frilly one is actually labelled as ‘Yellow Lady’ and my ‘Harvington Double Yellow’ was safe elsewhere in the woodland edge, but still without flower buds. I know I bought several of the early ‘Lady’ series some years ago as tiny plants, including ‘Blue Metallic Lady’ which of course was never going to be blue, metallic or otherwise, but this young woman has certainly got a severe identity crisis!
An exciting email this week informed me of the impending arrival of some new snowdrops from Avon Bulbs, fortunately arriving the day following postage and still looking as if they had literally just been lifted from the ground. Being already prepared for their arrival, they were quickly potted up in a mixture of John Innes No 3 and vermiculite – working our way through the remains of a bag of vermiculite that was used in the installation of our Aga over 15 years ago! Since the resurgence of this seasonal obsession, new specimens have been planted in small aquatic baskets (11cm square) and then inserted in the soil, making them easy to lift when division is needed or when impatience to check progress gets the better of me, but also means they are less likely to go wandering or get lost. A few of my more established clumps are now in 13cm round baskets and some are now ready to be upgraded again.
Potted up yesterday, they were planted outside in the snowdrop border this morning, accompanied very fittingly by the swirling of large snowflakes which fortunately didn’t last long but left behind temperatures only a degree or two above freezing, meaning the Golfer is now cold on the roof, instead of wet. The snowdrop border seems to shrug the weather off and is pleasingly dotted with little blobs of white, nicely visible from the kitchen windows. There is one less white blob than there should be though, as when backfilling soil around my beauties I accidentally sliced the head off my new ‘Anglesey Abbey’ Still, at least you can see at close quarters how beautifully white she is, with just a hint of green shading on the underside of the inner perianth segments….