The little chaotic collarette of leaves at the top of each stem hold a bloom in each cluster. Not quite ‘ripe’ and mature enough to pick yet, but soon!
At this stage, the buds remind me of magnolia flowers or drooping tulip heads.
Or even more obscure, a sheep's nose?
Oh come on, you know you can see it!
As well as the lovely helleborus orientalis, its relative, the helleborus foetidus, is also flowering in the garden at the moment. This plant seems to spontaneously pop up in most gardens at some stage. A nice contrasting lime green against the purity of the bright, white snow. Rather disparagingly and undeservingly, it is also known as 'stinking hellebore', but I don't find it has an unpleasant smell, not in the same way 'stinky Bob' lives up to its name.
It has clusters of little bell shaped flowers with visible stamen and a purple rim on some of the flowers edges. Their shape reminds me of gum nuts, the fruit of the eucalyptus tree.
So some of these are coming in with me to cheer up the corner of a mantlepiece!
The flowers natural downward habit lend themselves well to being strung onto a thread for a little bit of Friday evening floral art.
Now fingers crossed they all survive the next predicted onslaught of snow tonight, before the welcome thaw arrives over the weekend here in Suffolk.