Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Signs of Spring

Today was a beautiful day, with bright sunshine, a beautiful deep-blue sky, and no trace of the piercing winter wind we get most days at this time of the year. When I came back from class I passed by the spot where I had photographed those first blossoms of Crocus tommasinianus, and nearby I came across yet another early harbinger of spring. Warmed by the sun's rays, a large witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) was opening its first deep yellow, fragrant flowers.

Witch hazels are among my favorite flowering shrubs, not least because they flower so intrepidly when hardly anything else will show any sign of life. However, I am also fond of the unusual, spider-like shape of the flowers and the sweet fragrance that wafts from the blooming shrubs. Last summer I planted a small specimen in my parents' new garden in suburban Michigan. Provided the roving bands of deer in the neighborhood have mercy on the little sapling, I hope that it will one day be an early spring highlight of the garden.


  1. Hamamelis are borderline hardy (or not at all) here in Alaska. I would love to have one someday if I can convince it to live in zone 3/4. I worry about the moose, our "steroid enhanced" deer eating my trees and shrubs. Hope your parent's shrub makes it!

    Christine in Alaska

  2. The parents' garden is now covered in deep snow. The lotus flowers grow but it is kind of difficult to keep them under water. As soon as they are growing to high the leaf gets to dry. Miss you. Mama


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