As a grower, the Hellebore is one of my favourite flowers. The main reason for that, apart from them appearing as one of the first flowers of spring, and being so beautiful and delicate, is that I get to enjoy them for several weeks before i cut them to sell to florists.
Last year, each month, I gave a couple of buckets of flowers with a theme to a talented florist. Their brief to make what they liked to show off the flowers. All of them only got a couple of days notice of what they were likely to be getting.
The barn has been wonderfully scented with Narcissus, Rosemary, Sarcococca, and even some Daphne, but actually one of my favourite scents at this time of year is Eucalyptus.
We only had 5 frosts the whole of the 2015/2016 winter season. This winter season 2016/2017, it's been the opposite. The earliest frosts i've known, and 4 of them in November, and then an Easterly wind (usually South Westerly here) has meant that the ground was frozen solid for 9 days in January.
I wouldn't suggest using too much at a time in your winter displays, just one stem is plenty to give a lovely fragrance. but it is a great winter addition.
Guest post: Vanessa Birley.
For our first British flower up close focus, we have chosen the narcisuss as our January flower of the month. Symbolising new beginnings, an apt premier flower indeed.
Alstroemeria, the Peruvian lily, is available from British growers all through the year, in a whole range of colours. From soft whites, creams and peaches, through to bright pinks, purples and almost brash oranges.
For that reason alone they should be part of any British flower florist's arsenal of front line flowers.