Hellebores are a little like exotic dancers, inasmuch as they take great delight in delaying their hidden delights, tantalising and teasing us before they finally remove their last veil and expose their true form. Anna’s Red is the greatest tease, exposing her dark red buds as they emerge from the shadows of the ground just enough to make our mouths water in expectation; her stems follow, equally dark and red, growing elegantly into graceful and lithesome limbs, thrusting upwards and flaunting the buds of promise. Nothing demure about her: confident and self-assured, when she feels the time is right she will brazenly go the whole way, head and shoulders above other hellebores, and flaunt her naked beauty.
Head bowed, Ellen Picotee is demure in comparison:
For modesty, Harvington Double White keeps her petticoats on…
whereas Harvington Double Lime is like the principal boy in a pantomime:
Coquettish Harvington Double Pink Speckled takes time over her toilette, her make up flawless…
… but Cheryl’s Shine is a thoroughly modern miss, a real English rose, with no need for blusher to accentuate her natural colouring, oblivious to the pollen that others might want to brush away, and just happy to be herself.
These are just some of the dancing girls in the garden, although most are still in their dressing room. Do I have a favourite? As I think someone else has said recently, it’s probably the last one I looked at – but seriously, how can you have a favourite when they are all so endearing in their very individual ways?
I hope you enjoyed the girls’ performance tonight; for other Saturday Six acts please visit Jon the Propagator’s blog.