Witch Hazel: A Friend in the Garden

1 Mar

More snow is forecast for Sunday/Monday. Mother Nature has been toying with us this season; it has been a dreary, harsh winter for those of us living in the Washington DC area, where winter is not usually so bad. Long-suffering friends in colder climes scoff at our feeble complaints, but we are all well and truly tired of winter and are longing for spring.

Which is why it is so nice to have some Witch Hazel in the garden: it blooms just when you have had enough of winter, and gives you hope that spring is not too far away. At the moment, this lovely Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Birgit’  is the only bright spot  in my garden, which remains braced for more bad news. Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are crosses between Japanese and Chinese witch hazels. ‘Birgit’ is one of the darkest red (actually, purplish red) cultivars; I bought it for its deep color and also because ‘Birgit’ is the name of an old friend. My Witch Hazel is still quite small, but already it is living up to its namesake; it is a great friend to have in the garden, especially at this time of year.

  

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