These morning walks allowed me to capture quick sketches and photographs of the blooms on display. At this time of year the snowdrops are waning and the Hellebore are abundant. A few brave, sun bathed Camellias and Rhododendrons are also flowering.
The valley has a gentle light as the trees are just starting to bud. In a few weeks with a bit more warmth the herbaceous borders will begin to bounce in to action filling in around the Euphorbia. The magnolia tree at the bottom of the walled garden is starting to display its beauty and will likely be my subject of choice next Sunday!
This week the Hellebore took pride of place on my drawing board. They are represented by shades of white, pink and purple in the gardens. Nestled in below the trees and at the edges of the paths they acknowledge the entrance of spring and the final days of winter with each nodding bloom. Reading about the flowers reveals a mixed past associated with the flower's poisonous effects, medicinal qualities, their popularity in the 1850s, and the associations with being named to 'Christmas Rose'. The deep purple coloured Hellebore near the 'green man' fountain captured my attention. Their tinged blue leaves, yellow core and central stamens are intriguing. The stamens reach out to tempt the bees but are also sheltered by the sepals (not petals!). This is how the Hellebore maintain their lengthy appearance because the sepals appear like petals, and the petals are concealed between the sepals and the stamen. By capturing a few different views of the flowers I was able to develop my detailed drawing. With the composition resolved my drawing just needs a last burst of energy to complete in advance of next weekend. So hopefully it will be on display for Sunday the 3rd of April.