On the 15th of every month Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts a Blooms Day meme, where we can see what is flowering in each others gardens – at this time of year when there is such a variety of weather in different places it is particularly fascinating so do pop over to her blog and follow the links.
Here in the UK Midlands I tried very hard to find blooms other than snowdrops and witch hazels, knowing that not everyone can grow these beauties and not wanting to ram their gorgeousness down people’s throats any more than necessary, but it was a struggle. The hellebores are not quite ready yet, so I can only share H foetidus, H niger ‘Christmas Carol’ and the pleasant surprise of the first hellebore hybrids to reveal anything other than a very tight bud, an unnamed pink :
There was the fragrant winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, the odd comfrey flower, always ivy, nearly always primroses, and a single ‘Cool Wave Frost’ viola:
And then there were snowdrops … and witch hazels … and um … snowdrops and witch hazels:
Top, left to right : Hamamelis ‘Harry’, Galanthus ‘Mrs Macnamara, G ‘Maidwell L’, H ‘Diana’
2nd row : G elwesii ‘Hiemalis’, G ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’, H ‘Orange Peel’, H ‘Spanish Spider’3rd row: G ‘Ophelia’, H ‘Pallida’, H ‘Jelena’, H ‘Magic Fire’
4th row: G ‘Atkinsii’, G ‘James Backhouse’, the first of the more common snowdrops G nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’, H vernalis ‘Amethyst’
Sorry (not really… well, perhaps just a bit)!! 🙂
What a feast for the eyes Cathy – wish I had those lovely things flowering in my garden at the moment. And, since I’m fairly new to your site, I’m delighted to see your many snowdrops and hamamelis. Cheering!
Aw thanks, Cathy. I tend to forget just how much pleasure there is to be had from my garden at this time of year…
I envy your witch hazels. I have one but it has flowered less and less over the last few years, no idea why
Hmm – is it too shady perhaps?
I don’t think so and if it was it won’t be now the willow has been cut back!
I think poor flowering can be the result of the plant being too dry, especially in summer. Perhaps mulching would help and watering it in times of drought.
I have come to that conclusion Chloris, so thanks for confirming. There are only 2 flowers buds on Zuccariniana but I have carefully scraped the surface of one of the branches and it is still alive even though it looks quite twiggy. This is the one that suddenly dropped its leaves before any of the others lost theirs. Don’t know why that one has suffered more than the others although it is the largest of them and does have an apple branch or two above it. I shall definitely be watching it this year and watering if need be. Thanks for the advice, oh wise one
It will be happier now, I guess, with the willow gone
Part of the joy of Bloom Day, I think, is to see things we can’ necessarily grow, so, please, continue ramming their gorgeousness down our throats! It’s fun to see “exotic” blooms, as well as the not-so-exotic. Here in the northeast US, I’ll have to wait at least two or three months before seeing my hellebores, violas, or primroses! (Though I do have “disposable” primroses from the grocery store in my kitchen window now!)
(Should say *can’t* necessarily grow up there in the first sentence!)
Thanks Kimberley – you are right, of course, about Blooms Day but I felt I ought to apologise!!
I love your lovely blooms of winter!
Don’t apologise for those lovely snowdrops and witch hazels. I have neither. I think it is time for a visit to a garden centre only the soil is far to hard to plant anything at the moment. I can look though, can’t I?
Of course you can, Annette (and you could always keep a witch hazel – or snowdrops – in a pot till conditions were OK for planting…..
That is true – I could.
Don’t worry, Cathy, l loved the selection if witch hazels and snow drops, very nicely put together.
And I have just checked back on last year’s – not as many witch hazels (but Ruby Glow, Zuccariniana and Arnold Promise were flowering, which they aren’t now) and fewer snowdrops…
Witch hazels would look rather good underplanted with snowdrops, wouldn’t they? Especially the red ones.
Hmm – my ‘ordinaries’ are in the woodland edge border but I could always start some new colonies….
Lovely blooms, one day I really will have some witch hazels…. One day.
They’re fairl slow growing arent they?
I hope you do, Liz, and yes they are slow growing. My oldest ones I have had for about 10 years and they would be no more than 4 or 5 feet tall
Your blooms are lovely Cathy and I enjoyed your collages showing them. It is freezing here in the northeast so I had to focus on foliage instead for this month’s Bloom Day…winter’s blooms! I enjoyed the visit to your garden! http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2015/01/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-and-foliage.html#.VLfg4og8KrU
Hi Lee – I found your comments in Spam and I am guessing you left the second one because the first one disappeared. Shall I delete the second one? Thanks for your kind comments about my January blooms – they are a real joy and I am pleased to be able to share them, particularly with people who have to focus on foliage instead!!
Hi Cathy…yes delete the second one. The first didn’t publish so I re-tried it. Thanks again for sharing your lovely blooms!
Seeing lots of Witch Hazels in the bloom day posts. Bring em on! I never tire of seeing them.
Hurrah for witch hazels!
Why on earth apologise! It’s lovely to be able to enjoy yours, even if I can’t grow them myself! A couple of those witch hazels stand out for me… Spanish Spider and Amethyst, which really is very true in colour to its name. Perhaps I will be able to grow one one day in the future… the garden needs some serious replanning!
They are so slow growing and do not have a dense canopy so they can easily be underplanted, one of the reasons why I have easily fitted my little collection in.
You have so much to enjoy in your garden just now, Cathy – and its still early! I must find some space for a Hamamelis, but of course it must be scented! So a visit to my favourite nursery is on the cards to sniff one out. After all, I have vouchers still unspent!
It makes it feel as if there is never a lean time in the garden when there are flowers like this in January! Ashwood Nurseries (if that is where you are heading) is meant to have several varieties of witch hazel – invcluding (according to the RHS) Strawberries & Cream that Chloris mentioned, but acoording to the website that is a lie, well, not the case. All the more exciting buying plants when you have vouchers, isn’t it?
Oh, you had my hopes up for “Strawberries and Cream” for a moment. That’s such a beauty. Yes, that’s where I’m heading (watch this space!) Never mind, I’m sure they’ll have many other lovelies to choose from. 🙂
Well if they do in fact stock it and there is more than one then please let me know 😉
It doesn’t really matter as long as you have so many flowers to share with us, Cathy, and you can never have enough Hamamelis and snowdrops. I love the colour of Spanish spider – is it scented? It may be a good alternative for Jelena. How is the autumn colour? You have an amazing collection there, I’m impressed.
Thanks Annette. Spanish Spider was new to me early last year and didn’t have many leaves to assess autumn colour. It’s not meant to be scented at all so I don’t need to try and convince myself I can smell anything!
Lovely selection Cathy. I’m worried about 2 of my Witch Hazels, H. Mollis and H.Arnold Promise, not a single flower bud this time and the twiggy bits look dead to me, I just hope I’m not going to lose them, yours all look so healthy and pretty!
If you look at Chloris’s comment and my reply you will see that we think last summer’s dryness was an issue. Three of mine have no hint of colour yet, but AP and Ruby Glow do have buds and I think they are delayed but Zuccariniana looks very twiggy and sounds like yours but it does have 2 buds and the stems still show green when scratched, so I am hopeful it will just be a one-off. I would guess that yours wouldn’t suffer permanently from one dry season, although the first couple I had did not survive in the little woodland where the must have been too dry, but they were young and not established. I shall be watering mine in dry years in the future! Hope yours do pull through..
Snowdrops and witch hazels …. snowdrops and witch hazels ….. music to my ears Cathy 🙂 Please feel free to wax lyrical about both in profusion.
Thank you kindly 🙂
Lovely to see your witch hazels and snowdrops. What a joy they are. I wish you lived near enough for me to pop in and have a good look.
You would be more than welcome at any (well, you know what I mean) time if you were passing or wanted to stay over (although we might be heading in your direction sooner rather than later…)
You have 100% more plants blooming than we do in New York State, and it’s such a joy to see…anything. Witch hazel and snowdrops would be precious for us right now (although witch hazel does grow here, you don’t find it much in urban areas.) Winter honeysuckle. That sounds so good. Hope you had a happy GBBD!
They are indeed Alana – hope you are not waiting for too long for blooms yourself
No need to apologize for the focus on witch hazels and snowdrops – their beauty deserves notice. I wish I could grow them but neither one likes the conditions here.
I do try not to take them for granted…
Never apologise, never explain! My witch hazel has started flowering, and I have some snowdrops, plus cyclamen lighting up the bed under the new Rowan. I’m heartened by the witch hazel, with such free draining soil I feared the long dry spell might have done for it. Enjoy all that lovely colour and scent!
Oh hurrah – I am so pleased that your witch hazel is flowering!