I had hoped to send out loads of hellebores for Valentine's Day (with paperwhites and other narcisissi and the few forced tulips plus anemone posies) but picking proved difficult in the torrential downpours and winds. However, there were flowers, they looked and smelt lovely and went out, and I am grateful to any flowers that manage to smile through the current patch of weather.
It is rather disappointing that all the halfhardy annuals that were in waiting in the field have drowned, covered in water since well before christmas. It would have been pleasing to have some early blooms out there, but also I do hate wasting those seeds and seedlings that did so well to germinate and start growing. Many many years ago I went with a botanist uncle to a research lab where he showed me a lettuce seed under a strong electronmicrosope (sorry can't remember the right term!) and it was utterly amazing to see, in the centre of this tiny dry speck of a seed, a beam of flickering light. Life. So I do so hate extinguishing that little spark of life when growth is wasted.
This little clematis has been flowering bravely for about 8 weeks now. Others on the front of the house have finished and formed seedheads before being blown away from the wall, but this one is sheltered and just keeps giving. Subtle but oh so pleasing.