We are so lucky to live in an area with comparatively mild winters ! Every January (and sometimes even earlier) our dreary days are brightened by the humble Hamamelis shrubs – the ‘Witch Hazels’ which dot our neighbourhoods. These hardy, undemanding shrubs ask for very little. They will grow into small trees if left alone….but are easily maintained to any size you envision by light pruning. Those clippings are wonderful in the house in a vase of water, so wait to prune until late winter and enjoy their beauty indoors!
Witch Hazels will grow in full sun, part shade, full shade, woodland – virtually anywhere . I think the open soil of a real garden would allow them to reach maturity, versus a life sentence in a patio pot or large container. Many of the varieties we offer produce fabulous fall colours in their foliage . The large leaves turn flaming orange with red and gold blushes, as striking as any maple I have ever seen. The leaves stay on the twigs for weeks , before falling off still beautifully coloured.
Many Witch Hazels are fragrant and scent the air around them. Most yellow varieties are scented, but use your own nose to judge. My nose finds the orange variety ‘Aphrodite’ has the best and strongest scent , followed by ‘Barnstedt Gold’ and the much loved ‘Pallida’ . The range of colours includes red, coppery orange, deep gold and soft yellow. I would mix a few colours into the landscape for interest if space allows. It would also look great to plant two colours in one hole and allow the branches to co-mingle !
We have a fabulous selection of Witch Hazels in stock now (early February) and
prices range from $34.99 to $89.99 (for very large ones) .
Hamamelis x ’Barnstedt Gold’ is fragrant and very vigourous.
Hamamelis x ‘Old Copper’ combines well with yellows
Hamamelis x ’Aphrodite’ has huge ‘flowers’ and is very fragrant.
Hamamelis x ‘Diane’ is really red, but, alas, has no scent.
Hamamelis x ‘Wisley Supreme’ has lots of colour and a light scent
Hamamelis x ‘Pallida’ is #1 for most gardeners.
Hamamelis x ’Gold Edge’ is very showy and curly.
Hamamelis x ‘Arnold’s Promise’ has a light scent.
Hamamelis x ‘Jelena’ is one of my favourites , even though it has no scent. It has amazing fall foliage colours !