Back to the Botanic Gardens yesterday for part two of the RHS level 2 course. As I walked up the drive I was greeted by Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ in full flower and smelling delicious. It is has been underplanted with a selection of hellebores, many of which had finally emerged – though I could see that there are lots more to come. I particularly liked these freckled ones, which I’m afraid I can’t name as they weren’t labeled.
The bed also contains a Stachyurus praecox and a number of Bergenias. I have to say, I don’t think the Bergenias work. I must confess a certain bias here – Bergenias are not plants I particularly like – but in this case it is simply that there are other colours that would have provided a more effective foil for both the Prunus and the Hellebores. Last spring, when I started this blog, I wrote about this clever combination of Bergenia and Chaenomeles which completely overturned my snobbish aversion. Still, I’ll continue to enjoy the Hellebores and the Prunus, and who knows, as the bed fills up, I may even come round to Bergenias too.