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The Gentle Author’s Diary 1

February 3, 2013
by the gentle author

For months now, I have barely cast a glance upon my garden. It was only when the snow melted towards the end of January that I found there was already new growth, which I had neglected while my attention was drawn exclusively by the hearth. So it was a pure delight when I took a moment to study my sorry patch of cultivation this week and discovered three different varieties of Hellebore in bloom. Like the rest of us, these plants hang their heads against the winter weather yet, once I looked closer at the flowers sheltering under the leaves, their subtle beauty was revealed.

Each Sunday, since the beginning of the year when there were no traders at all, the markets of the East End have gradually returned to life and, in spite of the rain and snow, a momentum has been established that will carry us into spring. A certain doggedness is required of us all to endure such challenging conditions and thus any signs of transition are welcome indicators, seized upon with disproportionate joy because they confirm our tenderly-guarded anticipation of the respite that must come.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Baldwin permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Lovely photos, thank you for this first sign of spring on a gloomy day. Have spotted three (!) snowdrops in my garden.

  2. Yvonne permalink
    February 3, 2013

    no words to describe how your beautiful pictures and words take me so close to your london world every morning; a million miles from mine..thank you soo much!

  3. Greg Tingey permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Ours are up, as well!
    So are the first (cultivated) snowdrops, the native ones are showing, but not open & the Galanthus elwesii are also in flower.
    SPRING is coming ….(Blackbird singing this morning, too)

  4. Philip Morgan-Klein permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Thank you GA for this post. These Hellebores have such delicate beauty, but also grow in such a modest way. A far cry from the more vibrant fanfares provided by the tulips that will be here sooner than we think. But each have their own beauty and each bring us gardeners special joy as they take their turn through the seasons.

  5. Elizabeth cornwell permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Oh I love Hellebores! What a lovely post.

  6. gary permalink
    February 3, 2013

    can you tell me what to plant that will last

  7. Peter Holford permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Great photos again! I live in the Pennines and I think things are going haywire – the hellebores are out and so are the crocuses but the snowdrops are still a long way off flowering. Bizarre!

  8. Ros permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Beautiful, gentle author, just beautiful.

  9. kippy permalink
    February 3, 2013

    Ah the photos are beautiful. I will have to go out snowdrop hunting in the gardens today.

  10. February 3, 2013

    Lovely flowers. Lovely photos.

  11. Jill permalink
    February 3, 2013

    These are stunning, just the tonic for a grey February day. Herebores seed like crazy; I potted up about 150 seedlings last week which I will give to friends and sell for charity. Keep us posted with more photos please as your garden wakes up.

  12. February 4, 2013

    First of all, thank you for sharing your beautiful fledgling flowers. And thank you for voicing the thoughts that propel me through my New York Winters. With passing of each day, spring edges a little bit closer. But at the same time we must not fail to appreciate each day as it comes our way – cold and snowy or not.
    As for me and my garden, I know that one day I will walk down my walk and look down to discover a scattering of yellow and white crocus heads. but for that I’ll have to wait until at the very earliest, late March. Meanwhile I’m glad you have your Hellebores.

  13. February 4, 2013

    candlemas is all about the awakening of the ground. i am painting myself blue and dancing in a circle.
    i hope you are too.

  14. February 4, 2013

    “Oh what beautiful photographs reminding us to get outside and see what we can find. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather”…(The first day of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, begins with the vernal equinox at 7:02 A.M. (EDT) on March 20, 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere. And this season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. Source:

  15. Hazel Parker permalink
    February 4, 2013

    Oh what a joy to open up this and seethe beautiful flowers. Thank you so much.

  16. Rhianwen permalink
    February 4, 2013

    Just beautiful… My Sundays are complete once again.
    Thank you!

  17. Cynthia permalink
    February 7, 2013

    Forecast is pleasing for Saturday… I can’t wait to get out for the first tentative tidy up of my garden, accompanied by goldfinches,robins and bluetits. Thank you for whetting my appetite.

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