Feathery tendrils of gold envelop rich red-purple centers, brightening a corner of the garden on dreary winter days and sending a heady sweet aroma wafting across the lawn. That’s what witchhazels (Hamamelis) will do for you. They’re one of my favorite shrubs for year-around interest in the garden, but especially in February as they come into bloom.
Witchhazels (sometimes written as two words, witch hazel) are shrubs or small trees that will ultimately reach about 15 feet tall and wide. They grow best in slightly acid to neutral, well-drained but moist soil. Plant them in full sun for the best growth form, although they’ll accept partial shade. Like many other plants, the more shade the more straggly and leggy the growth. Continue reading →
The thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus) are getting ready to burst into bloom throughout the Whatcom County lowlands in the next week or so. The first flowers opened on the plants in our garden last weekend. This robust shrub will soon be covered with large white blossoms, highlighting roadsides and woodland edges. Continue reading →
Even in our mild Pacific Northwest climate there aren’t many shrubs that bloom during the dark winter months. One of the exceptions is Bodnant Viburnum, Viburnum ×bodnantense. The cultivar we have in our garden, and the one you’ll find most often in the nursery trade, is ‘Dawn.’ For us, it begins blooming in late October and continues to open fragrant pink blossoms through February. Continue reading →