I have two types of hellebore plants in the border garden beside our house, and I’ve blogged about them once before. But that was in late spring, when their colours were more subdued and their carpels (ovaries) were huge with seed.
This year I caught them much earlier, before the seeds had started to form. When I knelt down on the patio stones and maneuvered my face and camera underneath the flowers of the purple hellebore (not an easy task, believe me), I was in for a surprise. I hadn’t expected the riot of polka dots and leopard-like spots, nor the intense pink and purple hues – colours reminiscent of the Carnaby Street fashions we loved back in the mid-1960s.
Hellebore flowers face down and the plants grow fairly low to the ground, so it’s hard to see what’s going on under those full-skirted petals. Viewed from above, the flowers seem much more subdued than the gaudy floozies that danced above my lens the other day. My knees suffered for the experience, but all the same, I’m glad I took the time for a close inspection.