Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

Try these 5 November all-stars in your garden

I used to never consider November as part of the garden season. 

Now I include this month as an extra bonus, and focus on perennial plants for the front garden that can withstand a few frosts. Here are some standouts that are still going strong.

'Gatsby Moon' oakleaf hydrangea and Hamamelis vernalis 'Purpurea' (witch hazel)

For those who have followed the blog for a while, the 'Gatsby Moon' recommendation should not come as a surprise. Originally introduced to my garden as a growing experiment courtesy of Proven Winners, the two shrubs (Hydrangea quercifolia) have settled in nicely and provide late wine-colored foliage. 

The shrub sporting the yellow leaves in the photo above is Hamamelis vernalis 'Purpurea' (witch hazel), which contrasts nicely with its neighbor. This variety blooms in February here in Connecticut, offering a shot of color and nectar to any bees out foraging on warm days. 

Dendranthema Mei-Kyo

This perennial mum is new to my garden this year. It sports smaller pink/lavender double daisy flowers and the plant stays fairly compact when pinched back in June (18-24 inches). I purchased this variety from Natureworks Garden Center, which advertised it as a hard-to-find heirloom. 

Dendranthema 'Lucie's Pink'

This is another new addition to my garden this year — also purchased from Natureworks — but it is a tried and true favorite of Connecticut gardeners. The cheerful pink flowers prefer full sun and stay more compact when pinched earlier in the season. The interesting and sentimental background of this plant's origin can be found here.

'Winter Red' Winterberry  (Ilex verticillata)

This female variety of winterberry (two in my front garden) is a prolific producer of bright red berries. ('Southern Gentleman' is the pollinator — also planted out front.) The mature height can reach 6-8 feet tall, but mine have stayed around 4 feet (likely because I trim some for winter decorations). It also provides food for birds in the winter — usually gobbled up by the robins who return to the area in late winter. 

Among winterberry cultivars, it is noted for good retention of the bright fruit color throughout winter, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

Do you have November all-stars in your garden? I'd love to hear about them. Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Originally published on Nov. 20, 2021. Updated Nov. 7, 2023.


  1. Great selection of fall plants. I have a few of these as well as some Asters and Pineapple sage- Salvia elegans.

  2. They're all great. We have most of them, along with lots of other plants that did well in the remarkably mild fall that we've had.


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