I have had my eye on the Lenten Rose (Helleborus) for some time and this past summer planted my first. While it prefers a shady location which I have little of in my gardens, I tucked it beneath a rather large forsythia where I could keep an eye on it from my kitchen window. Now one of the first bloomers in my garden and withstanding the fluctuations in temperatures very well. It is touted as blooming up to 5 months and is resistent to heat, cold, drought and wildlife will leave it alone. Sounds like the perfect specimen!