American etymologist Douglas Harper says the word ‘hellebore’ is of uncertain origin.

‘Perhaps literally ‘plant eaten by fawns’, from Greek ellos / hellos ‘fawn’ + bora ‘food of beasts’,’ he writes in his excellent etymonline.com. But he cites another scholar who thinks it a pre-Greek word.

While the search goes on, one of a shipment of 12 plants from Post Office Farm Nursery arriving (beautifully packed) in July, and now foresting beneath an old black mulberry above our house, has put out first flags.

One: ‘Double green spotted’. Second: an older ‘White blotched’ holding ivy at bay. Third: ‘Slate’, deer food also from Post Office Farm Nursery and bought at Bolobek Garden Lovers’ Fair in 2017. Fourth: Weir Lane sport.