Helleborus x hybridus
This lovely pure flower is a real sign that spring is on the way in my garden. I have a few – this white one, which occasionally sports flecks of burgundy at the base of the petals; one deepest purple, though that isn’t quite out yet, and some rather dirty pinks which I’m probably going to rogue out at some stage. But I can’t grow snowdrops in my soil (though I’m going to try Galanthus elwesii soon in the hope that it’ll live up to its publicity and grow in poor dry soils – unlike most snowdrops) – so Hellebores are my substitute. I love the fact that you have to get right in there to see the flowers, modestly nodding amid deeply-cut leaves but hiding the most exquisite form and shape. And the leaves provide an evergreen ground cover the rest of the year. I clip the old leaves down to the ground every autumn to give a fresh flush over winter, and then I can look forward to the flowers in all their beauty when nothing else is out yet. Glorious.