Last spring we planted six small witch hazels, 3 red (Diane) and 3 orange (Jelena). The Jelena (shown in my 9 Feb posting) was the first to bloom. The Diane started to bloom about a week earlier. The blooms on both are now faded. The plants are small, only 12 to 18 inches tall. They are forming the start of an understory of shrubs for one of our planting areas in the lower Heatherwood garden. We are searching to add a yellow species to fill out the witch hazel color template: red, orange, and yellow.
As the witch hazels mature, they will provide a beautiful burst of mid-winter color in the garden. The will act as the harbinger of the coming spring.
When I was admiring our little witch hazels, my memory reflected back to the beautiful witch hazel grove in Longwood Gardens. The grove is comprised of mature yellow, orange, and witch hazels. It is a star attraction in mid-winter, especially when there is snow on the ground.
Longwood Gardens is a real treasure and a must see when in the Philadelphia area.
Just before the arctic blast is suppose to hit us, our witch hazels are blooming. Over the years, witch hazels have been the harbinger of the coming spring in our winter gardens. We planted our first witch hazels in our Woodinville, WA garden. They were planted them later in the spring after their blooms had been replaced by leaves. I didn’t know what to expect the next winter, but in late January we were pleasantly surprised by the little fragile blooms. When we lived in the Philadelphia area, we frequently made the adventure down to Longwood Gardens to see and photograph the displays of large (10 foot) yellow, orange, and red witch hazels. Here at Heatherwood, we planted six Diane and Jelena witch hazels last spring and are enjoying their first winter bloom now. Our little guys are only 12-18 inches tall. They look a little lonely in the large open planting areas. Looking back on the Longwood Garden specimens, I can visualize the beauty in which they will grace our winter garden as they mature.