According to one or two of the top public garden spring is somewhat later than usual, even down in the normally clement Cornish regions. So in view of this how about some Hellebores to cheer us all up? Detailed by the Telegraph Garden section in Feb they should still be showing their glory if all is somewhat late.
"Hellebore extravaganza, Feb 15, 11am to 4pm, Goodnestone Park Gardens, Wingham. Talk on hellebores at 12.30pm by Tim Ingram (ticket only). Specialist nursery displays and sales of winter-flowering plants. Adults £5, seniors £4.50, under-16s £1 www.hpskent.co.uk).
Special hellebore day, Feb 14, 10am-4pm, Bosvigo House, Truro, in aid of Shelterbox. Newly created woodland walk through drifts of snowdrops, hellebores, wood anemones, epimediums, erythroniums and scented narcissus. Refreshments available (01872 275774; www.bosvigo.com).
Ashwood Nurseries, West Midlands
Hellebore weekends, Jan 31 & Feb 1, Feb 14 & 15, 10.15am to 3.30pm, Ashwood nursery, Kingswinford. Guided tours (1h 30m), no need to book, go ''behind the scenes'' and learn about the hellebore breeding programme. Entry £2, proceeds to charity (01384 401996; www.ashwood-nurseries.co.uk).
Harveys Garden Plants, Suffolk
Hellebore open days, Feb 20 & 21, 9.30am to 4.30pm, Harveys Garden Plants, Bury St Edmunds. More than 1,000 hellebores for sale each day, advice and practical demonstrations, guided tours at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Free. (01359 233363; www.harveysgardenplants.co.uk).
Coton Manor Garden, Northamptonshire
Open for snowdrops and hellebores, Feb 14 to March 1, 11am to 4pm, Coton Manor Gardens, Coton. Entry £3 (01604 740219; www.cotonmanor.co.uk).
RHS Wisley Plant Centre, Surrey
Hellebore heaven, Feb 14 & 15, 10.30am to 4.30pm, Wisley Plant Centre. Demonstrations at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm by expert grower Hugh Nunn and Chelsea gold medal winner Richard Bramley. Hellebores on sale. No booking required, free entry (01483 211113; www.rhs.org.uk ).
Broadview Gardens, Kent
National collection of hellebores, Feb 15, 21, 22, 28, March 1, Broadview Gardens and Hadlow College, tours at 11am and 2pm, flowers on sale at Broadview Garden Centre. Entry £3 (0500 551434; www.hadlow.ac.uk).
Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire
Fanfare for spring, Feb 22, 11am to 3pm, Renishaw Hall, near Sheffield. Gardens and woodlands full of hellebores, snowdrops, bulbs and more. Specialist nurseries, refreshments. Entry £3 (01246 432310; www.renishaw-hall.co.uk).
Hellebore weekend, today, 9am-5pm, tomorrow 10am-4.30pm, Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill. Hellebore display and sale. Free (01959 532269; www.coolings.co.uk).
National Collection, Staffordshire
National collection of species hellebores, open Saturdays in Feb/March, 10am-2pm, Hazles Cross Farm, Kingsley. Entry £2, plants for sale (01538 752669; www.nccpg.com).
This website with links to specialist nurseries and growers will keep you up to date on the latest star plants: www.hellebores.org