Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A bit of colour

February at last! Or February already? Take your pick - I can't believe just how quickly the days pass, gobbling up my life.

Yesterday the thermometer was reading -6 degrees C and today - while I've not gone and looked - it must be at nearly in double figures. The sun on my back felt warm. Look at that beautiful blue sky:

Last spring we put in two Witch Hazels; this one is Hamamelis intermedia 'Jelena' and the yellow one below, H. intermedia 'Pallida'.
They come into their own at this time of year - from March to January one could only describe them as nondescript and boring.  Right now Jelena is certainly worth close inspection with glowing, russet thread-like flowers while acidic Pallida is a bit more visible from a distance. Sadly neither of them seem to be particularly fragrant but the welcome splash of colour in a drab garden makes up for that.

The Dogwoods are rewarding too - I've clumps of the red-stemmed Cornus sibirica, olive stemmed C. sericea 'Flaviramea', black stemmed C.alba 'Kesselringii and the fiery C. 'Mid-winter Flame'. Again nothing to talk about for most of the year but right now they have bulked up into blocks of colour.

The multi-stemmed Birch are rewarding too - now they have grown big enough to have the glowing white bark which is their u.s.p.

Gardeners are such patient optimists. We put in insignificant little sticks, sit back and watch and wait. Then one spring  - voila! We see those little twigs are doing what they were meant to do - they've grown into the shapes and forms we intended - and hurrah! there is the winter structure and colour we planned.

Now I must wait for the bulbs I planted with frozen fingers in the autumn to make their welcome appearance.  No time to be still either, there's next early spring to be thought about - I've spotted a few gaps to be filled and some winter causalities have opened up other opportunities.

Can feel myself getting quite excited - the sap's definitely rising.


Wipso said...

Love your Witch Hazels. What a lovely bit of colour in these drab times.
A x

Pondside said...

Witch Hazel is one of those plants I always remember too late - like at this time of year. There are definitely some gaps in our winter garden and I should be taking note.
February certainly sneaked up on me - but I am very glad to have seen the last of January.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Jelena is an unusual colour to see this early in the year , wonderfully cheery .
It's still far too early for anything to show any sign of life here . But , since it's February at last , there's hope ! Meanwhile , there's always a few daffs from the supermarket ....

elizabethm said...

I love both of those. I think you are right and I should have another one! The flowers on mine are smaller but it does have some scent - not loads but enough to be worthwhile.

Jayne said...

Witch Hazels always have an air of mystery about them, lovely colours too.
The Forsythia is thinking about flowering, Spring must be on the way.

Zoƫ said...

Jelena is my favourite - always reminds me of shreds of marmalade that escaped the kitchen, waving in the wind like a whole mass of prayer flags. You can't beat it!

Not sure my Witch Hazels survived this winter, after a very dry summer last year, and a very very wet winter, I think they are either having a terrible sulk, or have turned up their toes. I shall give them a couple of months to show signs of recovery. It'll be a shame if they have gone, both where sizeable 6 foot x 4 foot small trees.

Anonymous said...

Lovely witch hazels! I'm waiting patiently for my autumn planted bulbs too... I believe that the squirrels may have found a few of them...