Friday, November 30, 2012

witch hazels ..

hamamelis intermedia 'diane'

by the time i started working for phil, he'd planted many different shrubs and smaller trees as underplantings to the towering firs and cedars that surround the garden .. all of these were chosen, specifically,  with "winter flowering" and "shade" as the criteria for their presence here .. among these are three different varieties of witch hazel .. two hamamelis mollis 'pallida' .. one hamamelis intermedia 'diana' .. and one hamamelis x intermedia 'arnold promise' .. (i also tend a hamamelis x intermedia 'jelena' .. a striking orange flowering one growing in a different yard ..) .. regardless of where any of these magnificent winter flowering trees are they are magic ..

h. intermedia 'diane' touched by sunlight ..

i'd never encountered one witchhazel before meeting phil .. let alone four .. i knew i was in for quite a treat .. as i'd started working with in the garden in march there were a few months to go before i'd witness the winter performance of these beauties ..

fall colour .. hamamelis mollis 'pallida' .. 

and beauties these trees are .. elegant .. charming .. true show stoppers in the winter garden time frame .. each one quietly drawing attention as their large, green, beautifully veined leaves dress the trees in summer .. then turn to brilliant golden yellows in autumn .. eventually dropping to reveal the buds of the flowers yet to come ..

this is the time of year when i really start to feel excited to watch the next stage of the performance .. a seemingly sudden burst of colour .. this year the buds of 'diane' started to break in the middle of november .. now my patience is put to the test as slowly .. slowly .. colour reveals itself .. just a tease ..

here we are at the end of november .. i walkabout the garden a couple of times a week as i await the presence of long, slender tendrils of colour to fully unfurl from these tight little buds .. it is reminiscent  of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon .. and again, patience required .. this process can take weeks .. however, with the warmth of this present year, it will be interesting to see just when the flowers do make their full blown appearance .. i'll keep you posted ..

do you have any winter flowering experiences in your garden? .. i'd be delighted to hear about them ..

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