I had contemplated a trip to Anglesey Abbey to the winter gardens but opted for a quick visit to the University campus to see what was in bloom there. A few nice winter pictures in Sunday's sunshine and one very pleasant surprise. Amongst a group of Helleborus orientalis that I planted six years ago, I spotted a plant with very striking black flowers and chocolate foliage. I guess its a chance seedling as I've never seen it before and it was just a small plant tucked close to one of the big clumps. I'm not a hellebore expert by any means and so have no idea whether this is in any way unique - I doubt it is, but it was a pleasant surprise! The true H. orientalis comes from Greece and Turkey and has greenish white flowers. Most of those available nowadays are actually hybrids with other species. Presumably dark colourings are recessive traits so just appear occasionally - somebody enlighten me?
|The seedling that caught my eye|
|Pink and white Helleborus hybrids from which the black one presumably came.|
|Millennium Garden with new development today|
|Millennium Garden prior to new building|