It's rare that I have much of anything in the garden to share on November GBBD. This year is an exception due to the unusually long autumn we've been enjoying. We had rain and high winds and frost last week but a few things like the Witch-hazels are still putting on a show. But the star of the garden this month is my "Thanksgiving Hellebore (Hellebores niger)."
One of the last plants I bought from Seneca Hill Perennials, before that wonderful nursery closed, was the Hellebore in these photos that owner Ellen Hornig said blooms at Thanksgiving in her Zone 5 garden in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. My garden is also Zone 5 but with more temperature extremes and less reliable snow cover. Her area of the country tends to get deeply buried in white.
Here's how Hornig described my plant in her catalog when I bought it in 2010: "Wonderful Christmas Roses, descended from a plant given us by friend John Filkins. Our parent plants consistently bloom from Thanksgiving to Christmas, weather permitting. The fall flowers don't set seed, but sometimes the plants bloom in spring as well, and then we do get a crop of seed to work with. All the seedlings we've grown out have retained the fall-blooming habit. The flowers on this strain are outward-facing and on sturdy stalks, and the foliage tends to stay low."
When I went out on Tuesday morning (Nov. 10th) to check on them, the buds had pushed above the dried leaves.
I never worry about my spring-blooming Hellebores but I so wanted to get these buds to actual blooming stage. As a result, I kept piling leaves back on the plant every time I checked it. When I glanced out the window Friday morning (Nov. 13) it had pushed way up through the leaves and was visible from inside half way across the garden.
Despite a low of 31 degrees on Friday, all the blooms were standing up and looking good the next morning when I snapped these last two images. Just one more thrill from one of the best autumn seasons in recent memory.
To see what's blooming in others' gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts this monthly meme.