I was half-prepared to be posting an apology of a vase today, as the Golfer and I have had variations of a virus that is going around and for a few days I have felt rather like the hellebore shown below (accidentally cut alongside its leaves having failed to notice even the fully open bloom) after it had been in the bottle for a couple of days, unlike the freshly cut version which is more like my usual self (but prettier).
Fortunately it seems to be out of our systems now and we can get back to normal. Whilst thinking about hellebores, I was surprised to read Carol Klein in the December issue of Gardeners’ World magazine telling us that what we tend to think of as the petals of a hellebore are in fact the sepals – or was I the only person who didn’t realise this? These sepals which delight us by remaining on the plants for weeks or even months and aging beautifully serve to protect the developing seedpods. Well well – Nature and hellebores are wonderful…
Back to today’s vase though, which although simple brings me the same degree of satisfaction as more complex vases… snowdrops, witch hazel and the latter’s non-related twisted cousin. The snowdrops are Faringdon Double, the potted replacements kindly given by Green Tapestry’s Anna, and a variety usually in flower by Christmas but possibly rarely as early in the month as this year. The witch hazel is Hamamelis ‘Jelena’, one of several that are almost in full flower and certainly a few weeks ahead of any norm, and the twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ is sporting its pretty catkins; the stems were just pushed into the pot of snowdrops.
Enjoying the unexpectedly early magic of the snowdrops and witch hazel (and those hellebores) had already given me a title for the post, but despite telling the Golfer as I brought the pot of snowdrops inside that the buds would open in the warmth of the house I was not prepared for the magic that was then to take place before my very eyes. It took a moment to realise that after only five minutes there was the slightest hint of green already visible between the previously furled outer petals so I sat and gazed at the pot for several minutes and although the movement was imperceptible to my eyes they were most definitely unfurling and opening as I watched, the green heart shaped mark on the inner segments becoming more apparent every minute…truly a magical moment. It took no longer than half an hour for the flower to open to its full extent by which time the distinctive snowdrop fragrance was also evident the closer you got to it. Who needs magic tricks with wonders like this? I don’t suppose I needed the magic hat either – nor the magic wand or magic handkerchief (aka Christmas napkin) – but they have been included anyway!
What magic will you find in your gardens today to sprinkle into a vase on Monday? Do share it with us by posting links to and from the post – let’s make it a Magical Monday!