Hamamelis vernalis is a lovely native shrub that blooms when you have just about given up hope that winter will end and warmth will return to the world...Unless, you live in my Middle Tennessee garden and you're wondering where the heck winter has gone!
But, I am not complaining, just saying...I am crazy about these unusual orange/yellow/reddish colored flowers with four crepe paper streaming petals that furl and unfurl with the days temperatures. They smell of spicy vanilla and on warm days perfume the garden. I planted them for the fragrance. When you smell them, you will want them in your garden, too.
If you want to grow this Central South/Southern native tree just give it a partially shady location with good morning sun, moist acid soil. It tolerates Clay and Limestone, so, I am pretty sure you can have success with it, too. It has great fall color, attracts pollinators, blooms for almost two months and will colonize. Mine is a species but, there are marvelous cultivars if you are so inclined!
I always think of mother when ever I see the vernal witch hazels blooming. They bloom in the winter of life and that is how it was with my mother. She bloomed in the winter of her life. This is what I wrote:
I Planted It For My Mother
The spring she passed away.
and because planting a witch hazel was
a funny nod to our complicated and loving relationship.
Hamamelis vernalis blossoms in the winter
When we have just about given up hope
that spring will ever arrive.
On warm days
the crepe paper streamer petals unfurl and
its sweet scent drifts about.
Believe me when I tell you this~
I know that my mother is somewhere laughing
that her remembrance tree is a witch hazel.
I'm smiling thinking about her...and I'll be smiling tomorrow when I walk the garden and see the blooms starting to unfurl in the sun.
Thank you for stopping by and welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone."