Rearing Hellebores


The first clear sky at dawn for some time promised a sunny day which was appreciated by the garden, especially the winter flowering cherry that has been blooming for seven months now.

Sunshine, shadows, and birdsong returned to the garden paths.

Cryptomeria and eucalyptus trees from the antipodes brightened considerably.

Some of the hellebores even reared their heads.

Bright yellow mahonia blended with paler daffodils.

Although those nearer the soil were a little mud-spattered, primulas that had drooped a little now stood proud.

This afternoon Margery and Paul paid a visit as congenial as ever.

Afterwards Jackie drove me to catch the last post at Everton Post Office and on into the forest. Much of the terrain was still waterlogged, but the ford at Brockenhurst was dry.

Beef pie meal

This evening we dined on the second half of the smaller of Jackie’s splendid beef pies; served with crisp carrots and Brussels sprouts; and sautéed potatoes, peppers, and onions. I drank Serabel Lirac 2015.





  1. Spring is underway in the Northern Hemisphere at last while I am enjoying a warm Autumn. Your dinner looked very tasty – it must be time for me to consider something more than a salad for mine 🙂

  2. Your garden looks so beautiful, Derrick (and head gardener).
    Your title had me imagining rearing hellebores, and I pictured some sort of monster mutant plant creatures ready to attack. 🙂

  3. Your garden certainly is wakening! Happy you have spring and sunshine. It’s elusive here for now. The latest spring I can ever remember. We’re still navigating -9 C daytime temps. With sunshine. But a high pressure system is keeping Arctic Air in Alberta…eeep!
    Your Hellebores (such an odd name) are really gorgeous. Oh I wish I could be in the garden too! Enjoy ! x b

  4. Hellebores! Yours are out later than ours. I started taking different routes to and from work/metro and have seen some amazing blossoms. A couple weeks ago, I saw a group of hellebores blossoming away like crazy, very happy. They are nice to see, and your garden is looking lovely.

    1. Very many thanks, Lisa. Ours have been out for a while and are ‘blossoming away like crazy’, too. They also self-seed so much that they can be transferred anywhere

      1. I don’t like roses, nasty scratchy things, I don’t care for anything with thorns! Coincidentally my Hellebores are doing very well in the claggy stuff!

  5. What a lovely cherry tree. Surprising isn’t it that it has been flowering for so long? Your garden seems to be slowly adopting the springtime mode 🙂

  6. The hellebores have lived like yo-yos this year. Yours are looking beautiful and eager. My plants have been pathetic this year – they don’t seem to appreciate being in pots, even though they are capacious ones. I noticed one of them has lots of shoots yesterday, so all is not lost.

      1. That’s a lovely ‘problem’ to have. My mum has one I grew from seed and I’m so proud of it. I just wish I had persuaded her to have more of them!

  7. Yes, there’s a lot of rearing going on here too. Hellebores and primroses both looking much perkier. Feels like something has shifted in the air… but I won’t be counting any chickens just yet 🙂

  8. Derrick, would you be so kind as to ask Jackie a question? I remembered my mom making a dish with cabbage, ground beef and mashed potatoes on top baked into a casserole. I made a Shepard’s Pie with cabbage on the bottom and it seemed to be the same dish. My mother was British, but never said she was feeding us Shepard’s Pie. Is it a British dish?

    1. Our pleasure, GP. Neither of us knows of the cabbage version, but, as Jackie says, you cn put what you like in it. Whilst we all tend to call the dish Shepherd’s Pie whether it is cooked with lamb or with beef, the beef is correctly termed Cottage Pie, whereas, as might be expected, Shepherd’s requires lamb. Thanks a lot

  9. Your garden is far more advance than mine, and what a treat to see those flowers. Also a treat to see photos of Jackie’s fabulous cooking. Makes me hungry though!

      1. That’s for sure. Right now, it is snowing again. About two inches and no indication that it plans on stopping anytime soon.

  10. Your hellebores are beautiful. Primroses (as we call them here) are common in spring. Their prevalence, though, doesn’t take away from their bright beauty–so appreciated after the dreariness of winter.

  11. I love helllebores, they suddenly appear out of nowhere and seem like a kiss goodbye to winter and a kiss hello to spring – which sadly, seems to be refusing to get off to a start in our part of the world. Still more snow squalls. Ugh! Harlon

  12. I know you have a vast garden Derrick, that is the first time I think that I have seen the outside of your house, having seen it now I understand the garden is a great complimentary feature.

  13. Those winter flowering cherry blossoms are so sweet and pretty!
    I liked the sunrise photograph and those charming hellebores. Simply a delightful post, all around the garden with you. I liked that plateful of vegetables and beautiful beef pie. Mmmm – mm – mm – Good! ?

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