January Joys

Those of us who have tried to introduce plants of winter interest to our gardens will be reaping the benefits now – who would not be uplifted by the glorious colour of these witch hazels? From top to bottom and right to left we have: Hamamelis ‘Pallida’, ‘Jelena’, ‘Zuccariniana’, ‘Orange Peel. ‘Amethyst’, ‘Magic Fire’, ‘Diane’, ‘Harry’ and ‘Ruby Glow’. Most of these are planted where I can see them from the house, so they ae constant joy at this time of year.

A little behind them are the ‘special’ named varieties of snowdrops, most of them poking their green noses through the soil but not many opening up to display their subtle differences. A little bit of warmth and sunshine would help in that respect but I don’t think that is on the cards just now so here is a small sample of their progress, clockwise from top left tall Galanthus ‘Washfield Colesbourne’, all white ‘Godfrey Owen’ (sadly there is no sign of my other white poculiform – where inner and outer segments are the same length – variety, ‘Anglesey Abbey’), ‘Trumps’ and ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’:

I am especially interested in observing flowering times this year, thinking ahead to our February garden opening next year. Hellebores, I think, are earlier this year than some although they are not yet fully in their stride. Clockwise from top left is shy ‘Anna’a Red, ‘Penny’s Pink’, two unnamed varieties. ‘Ellen Picotee’ and ‘Harvington Spotted White’

I can never remember when crocus first emerge and although I was aware of foliage in the streamside grass this pot of Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ in the Coop took me by surprise yesterday it was less of a surprise then to find Crocus tommasinianus emerging in the shrub border – more joys.

The native snowdrops are bright and early with white buds on many of the clumps already; I split and divide these clumps throughout their growing season, as I need to do on the clumps of primroses which seem to flower as and when they choose.

Sweet smelling winter flowering honeysuckle is another regular at this time of year, but neither Lonicera standishii ‘Budapest nor L purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ are particularly photogenic; the other dependable fragrance is from Sarcococca humilis but here mine is no hurry to open fully. No doubt Chloris of  The Blooming Garden will be sharing her own January Joys soon, encouraging the rest of us to do the same, so do pop over and have a look. Thanks Chloris, for allowing us to link with your blog. She has a large greenhouse full of winter specials, certainly more special than Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) Red Lion (below), and it will a joy to see which of those are blooming yet.

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45 Responses to January Joys

  1. Beautiful! I am longing to see flowers and their sweet scents again.

  2. rusty duck says:

    Gorgeous witch hazels!
    Everything seems to be earlier this year from what I can see but especially hellebores.

  3. Chloris says:

    What a treat Cathy, I enjoyed your January joys, thank you for sharing them. I have been drooling over your Witch hazels, I think I shall have to indulge in one more. I am very taken with Amethyst. If you could only have one which would it be? I love your snowdrops and hellebores and I am amazed you have crocus out already. Oh and I love the shiny red hippeastrum. I have only shown a couple of plants from the greenhouse today, maybe I will do a greenhouse post in February.
    You have spurred me on to finish my post and publish it. Thanks again.

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely a self-indulgent treat, Chloris! Sadly, although Amethyst’s blloms are pretty close up they are quite small and don’t stand out at any distance. I have always advocated that Harry and Jelena are my favourites and if I picked one it would probably have to be Jelena because she is more floriferous than Harry. Mind you, Orange Peel is moving up the rankings too as he gets bigger and more established. By the way, I have done the deed and ordered Rochester, which should come this week… Look forward to your Jan and Feb posts!!

  4. What fabulous winter treasures Cathy! Chloris has taken the words out of my mouth as I was wondering whether you have a favourite witch hazel 🙂 ‘Trumps’ is now one of my favourite snowdrops.

    • Cathy says:

      As with snowdrops it is hard to choose a favourite, although there are less to choose from – I will always say Harry and Jelena, which were my first purchases, I think. Favourite snowdrop is possibly Godfrey Owen at the moment

  5. SpruceKnob says:

    I have to laugh (or cry…) looking at these photos. Here in Vermont, I have just been shoveling and snowshoeing after a snow storm that brought us over a foot of snow today. The thought of snowdrops just now has a different meaning!

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Those are good pictures to compare those particular cultivars of hamamelis. We grew a few of them back in the mid 1990s, but discontinued them because they sold so slowly. They are very unpopular here. I really do not know why. I would guess that it is because people identify it with colder climates, like forsythia and lilac.

  7. Brian Skeys says:

    Some cheering pictures for a dark January morning, thank you Cathy.

  8. Christina says:

    The crocus do seem early. I haven’t seen any sign of mine yet, well the foliage has been visible for ages but no buds yet.

    • Cathy says:

      The C Tommasinianus in the shrub border have been disturbed recently with changing the position of plants, so it may be some were just nearer the surface than others

  9. Anca Tirca says:

    So beautiful! My garden is far behind and covered with snow.

  10. Hi Cathy I am Joining you with a bonkers husk. https://digwithdorris.com
    Will be back later to read yours x

  11. Heyjude says:

    The witches collage is fabulous! I know they are not all scented, so which scented one is your favourite?

    • Cathy says:

      Generally the yellow ones seem to have scent outside on a mildish day, but all of them have a noticeable light fragrance when they are brought inside. Sadly, the yellow ones are my least favourites!!

  12. Oh glory, those witch hazels are delightful Cathy. So planning ahead to a spring opening as well. You are amazing.
    I agree the Hellebores are early this year. Crocus are peeping but not open yet

  13. Cathy your January flowers are magnificent. The Hamamelis are all wonderful. The snow drops are very special and beautiful. I like the Hellebores very much. Crocus sieberi “Tricolor” is very beautiful. The Primulas are beautiful making a carpet in the forest. The Amaryllis “Red Lion” looks like velvet and its color is divine. Cathy has planned her garden very well to enjoy jewelry in bloom during January. Greetings from Margarita.

  14. Cathy says:

    It is so heartwarming to see so many flowers in January Cathy! I am going to plant a Hamamelis in my new garden this year, but I doubt if it will flower as early as yours… our garden has been frozen solid for over a week now and there are still no signs of life out there! Any tips regarding Hamamelis would be welcome. I rather like Jelena and Ruby Glow. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Jelena has bigger flowers than Ruby Glow and would make more of an impact. Although they don’t mind a little shade, they are happier in a more open site although both these two are under the apple trees and do well. As next year’s flower buds appear by the autumn, it is worth the effort of giving extra water in a dry summer (like rhododendrons). And plant them very shallowly

  15. LisaDay says:

    Your January Joys makes me very happy.

  16. Love the Witch Hazels.. You must really be enjoying them.

  17. Anyone have any experience with the ‘Kohankie Red’ witch hazel? I’m planning a red border alongside the driveway and that one is described as being “bright purple red” and “strongly fragrant.”

  18. rosejasm says:

    Oh witch hazels sigh, had to leave my lively when we moved 😕

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