Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snow flowers

I am doomed to repeat myself at this time of year, as I am compelled to photograph witch hazels, the heavy hitters of the February flower scene. As delicate as they appear they bloom through hard freezes, their bright spidery streamers suspended, if you are lucky, above snow. These are all in the rockery at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The one above is "Jelena", perhaps my favourite, with a hot amber heart that bleeds into warm yellow.

"James Wells" is easily recognized  - fall trenchcoats of leaves remain furled beside the bight yellow flowers.

I think the red is Diane, though I could not find the label.

Pussy willow, always reminding me of the driver named Carmine whose ears turned bright red as my friend Molly and I sat in the back seat discussing her pussy willow. He was not thinking trees.

The Edgworthia papyrifera is in bud opposite the lotus ponds, and will probably bloom in a week to ten days. It has a scent worth visiting. If I had a bit more space, a witch hazel and the edgeworthia would be instant additions. Although witch hazel is a good little tree for small gardens, its beautiful horizontal spread is not suited to 66 Square Feet!


  1. Still waiting for my Hamamelis 'Diane' to do anything. She's been in my garden four years, but moved twice. Flowers are there, but they remain tight and unscented and so compact that you can't see the red, and that goes on from winter through spring... no unfurling like your picture shows. Leaves and form are nice though.

  2. Nice shots. Doesn't look so cold on the screen. Hard to believe last week it was 30 C+...

  3. Well, there they are. The red is gorgeous.

  4. beautiful! I am eager to see the witch hazels bloom in the Boston area!

  5. I have never seen the plant Witch Hazel so this was very interesting to me. I have used the liquid before but never knew where it originated from.

  6. Laurrie - that is frustrating. Is it in sun or semi shade?

    Beence - yes, or that gaskets were ever blown...

    Monica - :-)

    Hi Rose - I'm curious as to when they will start?

    Teri - yeah, not such a West Coast tree. It likes to be cold.

  7. Beautiful! Am convinced now to buy the two I was considering for a little barrier around my bee-yard. Thanks for such lovely photos. I want to head right down to the city to put own nose into them.


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