Hodsock plant stall on 8th February 2014 when we were examining the lush hellebore, ‘Harvington Double White”. Isn’t it lovely, and something of a change, when one can say about a plant: ours is better! I have seen many of the Harvington Hellebores and this double white is the best by some distance in my opinion.

We inspected our own specimen on our return. It resides in a large planter in the front garden and is simply voluptuous in full bloom. It is a confident beauty refusing to droop its head in a way that so many hellebores do. Ours manages some three months of flower, almost blooming itself to death from late December well into March. I purchased it from a batch of seedlings for a pittance with one single bloom to show its class. None of the others in the batch matched this one. Whether it is a bona fide Harvington I do not know but it is glorious.

Examining it this morning there is not the tiniest sliver of a bud and I gave it some liquid feed to perk it up. But in this photograph I remember just what we may have in store later in winter. Unlike some of our hellebores it collapses in the most dire cold only to rise again, Lazarus-like, as the weather slightly improves. It is four years old now, and a selection of its seedlings adorn the garden though they have yet to flower. Maybe this year.

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