The Finnish name for hellebore is ‘Christmas rose’.
Since I was a teenager, I have read (and re-read) all of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot detective stories that I have found in bookshops and libraries. Coming from such a clear-headed writer, I think they feel like meditation.

There were flowers

“There were flowers: delphiniums, sweet peas, bunches of lilac; and carnations, masses of carnations. There were roses; there were irises.

Ah yes – so she breathed in the earthy garden sweet smell as she stood talking to Miss Pym who owed her help, and thought her kind, for kind she had been years ago;

very kind, but she looked older, this year, turning her head from side to side among the irises and roses and nodding tufts of lilac with her eyes half closed, snuffing in, after the street uproar, the delicious scent, the exquisite coolness.

And then, opening her eyes, how fresh like frilled linen clean from a laundry laid in wicker trays the roses looked; and dark and prim the red carnations, holding their heads up;

and all the sweet peas spreading in their bowls, tinged violet, snow white, pale – as if it were the evening and girls in muslin frocks came out to pick sweet peas and roses after the superb summer’s day, with its almost blue-black sky, its delphiniums, its carnations, its arum lilies was over;

and it was the moment between six and seven when every flower – roses, carnations, irises, lilac – glows; white, violet, red, deep orange; every flower seems to burn by itself, softly, purely in the misty beds;

and how she loved the grey-white moths shipping in and out, over the cherry pie, over the evening primroses!”

Clarissa Dalloway enters Miss Pym's flower shop in the book Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

After several weeks of working long hours and spending a lot of time on my laptop, I look forward to returning to my books – old and new – and engage in an offline dream world.