In the UK there’s not much in flower at this time of year. Mid-winter is the time that most of us rely on colourful stems, bark and berries for colour in our gardens. Evergreen shrubs with interesting leaves are good too. They are hardy and reliable and for most of the year can be left alone to get on with providing a permanent framework for your star flowering plants.
When it’s cold and wet and windy it’s better to stay indoors and stay dry and warm I think. But when the sun shines in the winter garden it’s great to step outside and take a close look at some gorgeous deciduous shrubs. Witch Hazels or Hamamelis are quite unremarkable shrubs throughout spring and summer. Originating in China and Japan these shrubs have been developed for garden use. They come into their own in autumn when their leaves turn butter yellow or orangey/red depending on the variety you have chosen. Later on they produce a froth of tiny spidery flowers on bare branches. Some are pale lemon, others are brighter in shades of orange and red. All of them have a delicate scent and masses of flowers.
Here are some of the most striking Witch Hazel shrubs in flower. They are all widely available from good nurseries and garden centres. If you decide to treat yourself to one of these lovely plants it’s worth buying a mature specimen if you can find one because they are fairly slow growing. They love semi-shaded positions under tall trees and will gradually develop into a multi stemmed wide spreading shrub. Flowers are usually produced from January to March. This year some were already in full flower in mid December.
- Top Left: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’
- Mid Left: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’
- Bottom Left: Hamamelis mollis ‘Wisley Supreme’
- Top Right: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’
- Mid Right: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’
- Bottom Right: Hamamelis mollis
So that’s it for 2015. The end of another year brings some welcome colour into our lives.
Thanks very much for visiting, reading, liking and commenting.
My very best wishes for a very Happy New Year. Gillian 🙂