Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2011

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for December 2011.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 5b garden in central Indiana, I'd expect by now to have a scene like this one from December 2010, when there was snow on the ground and the temperatures were consistently below freezing.

But as they say, that was then and this is now and nothing is ever the same, even though from year to to year we think it is.

There are always differences. Sometimes the differences are slight and you don't notice them, like a little leaf that falls from a tree onto the lawn.  Sometimes the differences are so big they smack you in the face, like a low hanging limb across a garden path, so there is no way not to notice them.

This year is quite different from last year, like that low hanging limb. It's been warmer all month, except for a day or two, and we've had no measurable snow fall. Yesterday, temperatures were in the high 50's and then it rained.

But regardless of the weather or maybe because of the weather, I have a new plant that actually, truly is blooming outside in December. I'm pretty excited about it.

May I introduce you to the one and only bloom that I can find in my garden in December?
Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'
Commonly called the Christmas Rose, this is Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'.

I just planted it this fall, so it is still a young 'un but it has several buds on it.


According to Skagit Gardens, who sent me this plant to try in my garden, it is hardy to Zone 4 and blooms from December through February. By the way, it looks droopy in the picture only because when I had an opportunity to photograph it in daylight, it was weighed over with a heavy frost. Normally, it is quite perky for a winter plant.

With this plant in my garden, I may finally, actually, fulfill the quote from Elizabeth Lawrence, "We can have blooms nearly every month of the year".

No more will December find me taking pictures of dried up roses and skeletons of flowers gone to seed. No more will January and February find me hunting for flowers only inside. Now I'll have something blooming outside, too.

This hellebore means that winter is now a whole new flowering season with new possibilities, at least in my garden.

What about your garden? Are you snow covered or still enjoying outdoor blooms?

Whatever your circumstances and however your garden looks during these December days, I hope you’ll join us for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month.

All are welcome!

It's easy to participate. Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and then leave a link in the ‘Mr. Linky’ widget below, plus a comment to give us a hint as to what we might find in your garden in December.

We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” – Elizabeth Lawrence

Update December 16.

Thank you to all who participated in bloom day. You all help make the 15th of the month a special day. You also help show that December has more blooms than many of us thought.

My hellebore turns out to be much prettier and sturdier and photogenic than I ever thought, especially today. Here's an updated picture.
Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'
Thank you again to all who join in every month for bloom day.

Comments

  1. Somewhat, both. We had a snow storm that quickly turned to 50° weather and the poor flowers still had a little life left. But, there are plenty of skeletons to still photograph and post. The Christmas rose is very pretty, yet it seems such an odd thing to have blooms in the snow that thrive.

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  2. We're spoiled rotten here in California, with tons of blooms going on right now. Love your Hellebore!

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  3. Hi Carol, i am so sorry for my mistake of clicking the enter button without looking at the URL. Please delete the #2 link which was the mistake. Thank you so much. That flower has the habit like the snowdrops, is that an adaptation to withdraw from snow drops!

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  4. Ah, hellebores, how I love them! We're still pretty lucky here in Upstate SC--very mild, mid 60s this week. Thank goodness, because I'm very behind on planting the 1,200 bulbs I ordered. 40% off sales are dangerous!

    Happy Bloom Day! Thank you for hosting!

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  5. Love the Hellebore you have! Although it is Summer here in South Africa we have had unseasonably wet weather this past week with heavy downpours - but the gardens love it and we need the water so I'm not complaining, just looking forward to the sunshine that will surely follow.
    Happy GBBD!

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  6. Nothing blooming - couldn't find even a single bud! What to do? Oh yes, go visit my Mother-in-law. I know her pansies are blooming. Whew, that was a close one!

    Lea in Mississippi highlighting my Mother-in-law's flowers (also in Mississippi).

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  7. Not quite as warm here, but temps are high enough that we are getting rain not snow. Like you, not much in the garden but a Hellebore that blooms at Thanksgiving is still showing a couple of buds. I am unfamiliar with the one you have and will be curious to see how it fares.

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  8. How wonderful that the white in your garden this December is in the form of a bloom instead of several inches of snow!! I planted 5 new hellebores this spring, so I am looking forward to their blooms this winter :-) Thanks for hosting GBBD once again! My color is in containers this time of year for the most part.

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  9. Lovely Hellebore. Here they are just producing new foliage, with buds and blooms yet to come. Late January, maybe. Thanks for hosting this lovely event. It brings joy to many people, myself included. :)

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  10. I've had Josef Lemer Helleborus for a several months now, and it looks to be a beautiful white bloomer. North East Texas was fantastic fall color this year despite terrible summer heat and drought, and still a surprising number of flowers about despite recent frosts and freezes.

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  11. Even frosty, your new hellebore is lovely Carol!

    Happy Bloom Day, and thank you for hosting!

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  12. What a beautiful Hellebore! I can't wait until mine are in bloom also :) I'll have to remember that variety...

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  13. My hellebores (H. foetidus) aren't blooming yet, but I do have some flowers in the garden, merely winter-blooming shrubs.
    I envie your beautiful H. niger! That species is rather difficult, isn't it?

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  14. The hellebore is gorgeous. I had a purple one which bloomed vigorously all winter, and the blooms gradually faded through spring and now they are a sort of parchment colour. I'll have to take a photo if they are still there next month!

    Ruth
    Deep Into the Darkness Peering

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  15. Love your Hellebore! We're in the 40's/50's here so the focus is more on structure. Thanks to you Carol, gardening really does continue all year long. Happy Gardening and a Happy GBBD!

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  16. No snow but due to some days of freezing temps we have no blooms...so you will have to look at my memories instead...

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  17. I too have a new Hellebore, but it's being very shy at the moment, so will be saved for another Blooms Day.

    We've been having much warmer weather this year, so much so I have something from all 4 seasons flowering in my garden! It's very strange.

    Have a good Blooms Day and Season's Greetings everyone!

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  18. Lovely hellebore. Our fledgling garden doesn't have any yet, but they are on my Christmas list, so fingers crossed Santa finds one or two to remedy that! We have an odd collection of blooms at the minute, most that you wouldn't expect mid-December.
    http://hillwards.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/gbbd-blooms-in-december/
    Sara.

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  19. The hellebore does look pretty! The two I have are not in bloom yet. We have had only a few days of light frost, so I still have a few flowers in bloom. The sasanqua camellias are the stars of my winter garden.
    (I do enjoy "visiting" other gardens on Bloom Day...thank you for hosting!)

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  20. I'm trying to link to this post from my GBBD-post, but although I copied the exact URL, I always get a 'page not found'-error. Strange...

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  21. I'm so haqppy you have found a plant to bloom for you in winter; although I love my garden for its form, texture and seedheads during the winter, a plant blooming on every day of the year is my aim (actually August is the most difficult month here). I cannot imagine living where there is snow on the ground and freezing temperatures for so long. It makes me very grateful and I'll try not to complain in the summer when it burns the eyes to be outside. I hope you find more blooms to enjoy in your winter garden. Happy GBBD, Christina
    http://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/december-gbbd-there-are-still-roses/

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  22. Amazing to see your hellebore and the snow. We are in our first month of summer here in Brisbane. The daylilies have been the stars till now, but the frangipani and flowering trees are coming into bloom. November was very dry here and the garden suffered for it, but there is lots of lovely rain forecast, so I am hoping for a quick recovery.

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  23. Hellebore are one of my favorites. I think partly because they bloom during the winter months and I think that is spectacular! I think you will enjoy yours and add more to your garden!

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  24. This is one hellebore I would like to have. I have several but they bloom later in winter. It is nice weather we have been having. I have been too busy to get out and look for a bloom. Happy Bloom Day.

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  25. i heard on the news that we had 10 degrees a year ago on this morning...today it's supposed to be near 70! december is as unpredictable as march around here. i love the bright white of your christmas rose. i've had good luck with lenten roses, but the one Helleborus niger i had struggled along and eventually succumbed. i have heard they don't like the same acid soil the lentens do. do you add lime to yours? happy december bloom day!

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  26. Galveston GardeningThu Dec 15, 07:29:00 AM 2011

    Thanks again for hosting GBBD. Always interesting to see what's going on in gardens around the world.

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  27. Cheers for outdoor blooms of whatever sort, hellebores especially!

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  28. Thank you so much for your post reminding me that nothing stays the same. To look for this. I'm going to look for that Josef Lemer Hellebore, which I cannot pronounce, but I think I can now spell. I want me one! Enjoy today's mild winter.

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  29. Congrats on your hellebores! I am greatly intrigued about trying some in my garden, especially since they are hard to zone 4.

    No snow here in western PA either, so it is nice to have one little flower here too... you will have to come take a look to find it!

    Happy GBBD!
    Julie

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  30. We are seeing a similar weather pattern here as well, and yes last year's December Bloom Day was a cold and snowy one. My garden is getting full, but I still try to find room for anything that blooms in the off-season when I need color the most. Thanks again for hosting another GBBD, and I hope you have a merry Christmas.

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  31. What a sweet little flower! We have had snow, but also a bit of a warm up, that melted it. I did go out and chase after the dried up blooms and seedheads. While out there, I took some photos for foliage follow up. One of my hellebores will be included int that post, since it does not have blooms on it.

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  32. Supposed to be 57 degrees here today. I have had 'Josef Lemper' Christmas rose here for a number of years and love it. I like 'Jcob' even better though it flowers later. They re both in bloom now in my post, which is normal.

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  33. There's always something, if you look hard enough.
    It's still warm here and there are blooms here and there.

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  34. I'm so glad you found a hellebore for your garden to bloom all winter long! How wonderful to have something blooming in the garden - even with frost on it! I had a revelation this bloom day, since I live in a warmer climate. I probably wouldn't have had this if not for Bloom Day. Thanks, Carol!

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  35. Carol, it's a wonderful flower. I am going to look for this beauty; wondering when it will be released to public. Have a marvelous Bloom Day. xogail

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  36. The weather has been wonderfully cool and rainy the last week and a half! I can't believe it, but I am simply LOVING it. I've been puttering about out in the garden in the light rain/drizzle - my neighbors think I am nuts, but after the hottest summer on record with less than 12 inches of rain all year, I'm soaking up the rain while it's around. :)

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  37. My post went up a little early. And yes, despite being in the Southern hemisphere, on the 14th there was a light dusting of snow on the Western Cape mountains. Global wierding and El Nina.

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  38. Adorable! I had no idea Christmas rose was hardy this far north!

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  39. abeautifulpulpitinthewoodsThu Dec 15, 09:39:00 AM 2011

    Thank you for hosting.
    Will post later tonight.

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  40. Not as bloom-filled as the Southern Californian contributers' gardens, but my Central California Coastal garden has a few to share. I keep meaning to try some hellebores. I love how soft and tender they look. - And I understand they are not much relished by critters, which adds to their appeal!

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  41. Stranely, here in Portland, Oregon, it's been colder than your December 14th 50 degree day! But the rain is back and with it a slightly warmer daytime temperature.
    I'm thrilled for you that you have the lovely Hellebore to enjoy this month, but wondering (not for the first time) why I don't have more than one myself for this season. As it is, I'm low on flowers: Fatsia japonica and rosemary blossoms are my sole offerings.

    Happy Bloom Day, Carol!

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  42. Glad you have one bloom, as the mistress of Bloom;s day! Lots of hot, bright, cherry colors in my garden.

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  43. Oh, beautiful little blooming Hellebore! I must add more of these to my garden. My mother gave me a baby and after all the porch construction this year, I'm not sure where it went to. Hopefully it is still tucked in among the wild strawberries. Congratulations on your December blooms!

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  44. I really need to add some Hellebores to my garden...nice post!

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  45. I want it! I want it! I must have Helleborus niger 'Joseph Lemper'! How cool it would be to have a Christmas rose that actually blooms at Christmas?

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  46. Yay for flowers! I'm a big fan.

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  47. No snnow and no blooms here in Oregon (well, okay I found a couple). So glad the folks at Skagit sent you that Hellebore!

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  48. Carol, we're having a weird warm fall - no snow yet - too. But we don't have any hellebores in bloom now. Must remedy that...

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  49. No snow here yet although we had a bundle in October, believe it or not. It was a year of hurricanes, floods and early snow but the garden presses on. Happy Bloom Day.

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  50. I’m in Houston, Texas living in gardening zone 8b. We have had a few cold nights, in which temperatures dipped below freezing. However, I still have many plants blooming, especially my roses. Thanks for giving us all an opportunity to seeing what is going on in other gardens around the world.

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  51. How exciting to have a hellebore blooming in December! We've been having much the same weather as you, but my hellebores, though they're a nice of shade of green, must be Lenten roses instead. I'm actually looking forward to a little snow to be able to take some decent outdoor photographs again. Happy Bloom Day!

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  52. I'm amazed I found anything to include in my GBBD post this month especially given last year, like you, we were covered in snow. I love your Hellebore

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  53. I have dandelions blooming in my Indianapolis lawn. Do they count?

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  54. Not much is blooming in my garden this month, but I'm happy to participate and to wish all my fellow gardeners/bloggers a happy holiday season and a wonderful year of gardening in 2012.

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  55. Things are just getting into full blown blooming mode here in NZ! Unfortunately we've got a week of steady rain ahead of us here in Christchurch, though! :(

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  56. Found blooms to share. The big news is it's raining here and we really need it.


    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2011/12/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-december-2011.html

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  57. I planted that same hellebore at my old house. I wonder if it's blooming there right now, without me?

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  58. I love your hellebore, too. I can't believe the mild, snowless weather here on the edge of the snowbelt in upstate NY. I still have a handful of pansies, some (not so good looking) alyssum and some flowering cabbage still alive. My parsley is still alive, too!

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  59. Carol I am narrowing that winter bloomless gap too. December seems to be the tough one. Snow drops are almost reliable for January.

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  60. So nice seeing others' blooms, including that I can look to Indiana or other points usually colder, to cheer up! El Nina / Global Weirdness of one comment...exactly. Thanks all - now to check out everyone's post!

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  61. My hellebore and I wish you and your hellebore a delightful Bloom Day!

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  62. So much inspiration, thanks for hosting!

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  63. Thank you so much for hosting, I enjoyed my morning perusing all the offerings here.

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  64. Hi Carol,
    Hellebores are likely to be the focus for the next three months but the most I have is a bud from one of them at the moment. Glad you have a real flower. For me, the Camellia sansanqua and Allium thunbergii are the scene-stealers. Well, that's the case since the animals ate my snowdrops...

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  65. I have a David Austin, Golden Celebration blooming. It definitely has liked the colder weather (compared to the very hot summer we went through). I garden in 8A.

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  66. a christmas rose, how perfect. have a wonderful holiday carol.

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  67. No snow here in the tropics, so lots of flowers to share. I do love to see snow on pine trees like in your first photo...so pretty.
    Rosie

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  68. It's cold and sunny here, so most of my photos are indoor blooms, but I did find one surprise blossom outside. All edible! :)

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  69. All we have is a light kiss of frost here in California. My cosmos are blossoming as are my peas and I'm looking forward to my first sugar snaps maybe by Christmas!

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  70. I nominate Zepherine Drouhin Queen of the Roses, at least in my own garden. I also have photos of an indoor geranium, orchid, ric rac orchid cactus, and my aquaponics system. Congrats on the lovely early Hellebore, Carol!

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  71. Late as usual. Scans are here: http://remarc.com/craig/?p=1368

    Thanks again for hosting. Have a great holiday and best wishes for the new year.

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  72. I'm very late in entering this week but yesterday was the first day in over a week I saw the garden in daylight. I've got hellebores in flower here - but what a difference between my post last year and this year!

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  73. Hi Carol,
    I've always wondered if your May Dreams would come true so far north. And now they have!
    You must get more....of these hellebores. That's one trooper to bloom in such cold conditions.
    Happy GBBD!
    David/ Tropical Texana :-)

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  74. Thanks for the venue and the posts, Carol! Happy GBBD!

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