It is a sad moment when the last snowdrops fade but they have given us so much pleasure for the last three months that it would be wrong to complain. Now is a wonderful time in the garden with new arrivals every day. First the hellebores. These have been wonderful for several weeks now and I love them for their reticent beauty. I do not want their flowers to face upwards so that they can be seen immediately. Their charm lies in being so demure and hiding their charms so that you need to lift the flower to appreciate each individual’s beauty. I love the freckled ones, the picotees, the deeper reds which glow with the winter sun behind and the enchanting details of the stamens in the centre which sometimes remind me of an Elizabethan ruff. I recently acquired from master plantsman Tim Ingram a beautiful hellebore with dark red stamens and a seedling of one of my white doubles has the most beautiful dense ruff of stamens set in the centre of a creamy white flower. He also very kindly gave me one with delectable green flowers possibly a cross with one of the several species he has in his garden.