THE SUBTLE CHARM OF HELLEBORES

Hellebores bloom in the shadow of cedar tree and rose bushes. They match the discreet elegance of white and blue anemones and provide  a subtle counterpoint  to the brassy notes of tete-tete daffodils. It will be interesting to find out whether they will hold out until the green-eyed Irish Mist daffodils come into flower.  The latter were meant to partner  a white dogwood tree and the white lilacs Krasavitsa Moskow and Madame Lemoine. But the dogwood sulks this season and the lilacs have yet to bud. Deer and voles did away with the white bleeding heart, ornamental quince, Turkish tulips  and lily of the valley that might have been the beginnings of a moon garden. I take comfort in knowing that no gardener has ever died of heartbreak. Just when prospect are bleakest, one happens upon unexpected delights such as the humble hellebore blossoms half  hidden by a layer of last year's dead leaves.

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