The first hellebores were coming into bloom in December and nearly three months later they are still bringing great pleasure on every ramble. They may not be in the first flush of youth but as the flowers begin to dry out and lose a little colour they are still utterly charming and will continue to be so until they fade away altogether. Meanwhile, the centres of the flowers go through a transitional stage from stigma and full complement of stamens to developing seedpods and from experience I know that stems of hellebore will last much longer when cut at this later stage.
Joining a selection of pink hellebores in the pinky-purple glass vase are some other faded beauties, the first of a motley collection of dried material retained for potential winter vases – red Amaranthus caudatus, still retaining most of its colour, and spent flower stems of a veronica, probably Veronica hastata. I will certainly retain amaranthus blooms again – all of those kept came out of Monday vases and thus proved themselves to be doubly useful.
With its distinctively shabby chic look, the vase was photographed against the backdrop of a handstitched vintage quilt. The props are various dyes, all colourfast and designed not to fade away – shoe and fabric dyes and a pink version of my favourite outdoor woodwork treatment. Being notably choosy with colours, if I can’t find the colour I want I will dye the article or, in the case of paint, get it specially mixed.
This vase will bring me much joy during the week and allow me to enjoy the hellebores’ swan song both inside and out. What will be going in your vase today to bring added pleasure to your week? See what you can find in your garden or nearby to pop in a vase or other container and if you post photographs of it on your blog then please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post.