|February 15th, beautiful sunny day.|
|Overcast February 12th.|
|I am amazed that my photo had this detail as I cropped it close.|
I read an article a while ago where someone said that Witch Hazel would be an ordinary and forgotten plant if it flowered in June. What a ridiculous statement. It doesn't flower in June, it flowers in February and will show color for two months or more, and when you have snow like we have now, it is a brilliant focal point in the garden.
This beautiful shrub is off the back of my garage and I look directly at it from my drafting table. I would like to say I placed it there for that exact reason, but my table was in a basement office when I planted it years ago. Like many things in the garden, success can not always be planned, sometimes it just happens.
|Elegant vertical, vase-shaped form.|
In larger, more natural gardens, they can be planted in groups and left to form their vertical branching. Witch Hazel can be effective as a natural screen or transition into woodland areas.
They are basically understory plants and prefer some shade but will do well in sun provided they have moisture. They do not like it hot and dry. Any pruning should be done in early spring so as not to remove next seasons flower buds. They also tend to be suckering shrubs and will send shoots up from the roots. Be sure to prune these out if you want to keep the open layered look.
Growing up I remember a product in the house called Witch Hazel. I had no idea what it was used for, but apparently it is commonly used as an astringent and for a number of other ailments. It is distilled from our native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. This plant is also available in the trade, since it is our native, but the major difference with this species is that it flowers October through December. It has the same beautiful flowers, but they appear when the leaves are still on the plant and the display is mostly hidden.
Spring is still far away, but at least I have flowers in my garden...
|For those who say the shrub has no impact outside of 3'...This picture is from 30'|