Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'

"And now I have to confess that my choice for the first month of the year, the Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, has none of the things I look for - except that it gives no trouble and stays in bloom for weeks. Its flowers, though utterly charming, are not spectacular; its habit is not graceful, its bark is dull, and its leaves are coarse... In spite of these failings, I consider this one of the ten or twelve best flowering shrubs and one that I cannot be without. I like it because the flowers, thin shreds of gold bunched in wine-red cups, are able to defy the furious winter's rages and bloom on and on through frost, cold, ice, and snow."
Elizabeth Lawrence, Beautiful at All Seasons

It's been a little while since I've touched base, so I thought I would take a minute to give a few updates. This week, the Hamamelis x intermdia 'Jelena' is in full bloom and it really is spectacular. I realize the plant pictured is not the species, mollis, that Miss Lawrence refers to in the qoute, but the mollis has been removed from the garden for the time being because of its bad health. There are plans to return another to the garden. In the mean time, the 'Jelena' Witch Hazel is just as fascinating. The flower color is probably not the best part of this particular plant, but in this garden, it's the size. It truly has a 12' span. It is a small tree.

February will be busy with continued Winter Lecture Series from Wing Haven, as well as a little bit of construction. The gate is scheduled to be refurbished, the stone walls reconstructed and driveway replaced to address some drainage issues. I will keep the renovation progress posted...

Currently flowering in the garden - some Crocus, more Chaenomoles, a few Prunus mume buds, one lone Daffodil, several forms of Hellebore, and the ever hardy Galanthus. The Fritillaria are poking their heads and so are many more Daffodils. Can't wait!!

Until next time,

Katie Mullen

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Returning Flowers in January 2010

"It seems to me that there is never a time when some living thing is not pushing up from the ground, and that at the beginning of the year there is a more vital stirring. Canon Ellacombe said, "The garden is never dead; growth is always going on, and growth that can be seen, and seen with delight."
-Elizabeth Lawrence
Gardens in Winter

Since returning to the garden after a wonderful holiday break, things are still stirring in Miss Lawrence's garden. The Prunus mume buds are swelling, the Helleborus are pushing buds, and Narcissus are inching higher above the soil. Pictured above, Arbutus unedo is still in flower and holding its berries from last year. We have had continual freezing temperatures all week, and the pool is frozen. Bird and chipmunk activity is constant. Indoors, we are continuing with our Winter Lecture Series which can be found on our website at Wonderful lectures are being offered about vegetable gardening, owls in the city, botanical water color painting, and many more. The gardens are also still open for our regular hours, also posted on our website. Come see us in winter!

Stay warm until next time,

Katie Mullen
2009 Marco Polo Stufano Fellow