Earlier in the week the weather was halfway decent with warmer daytime temperatures, random bits of sunshine, and some hope for spring….
But then things turned messy, with snow and ice and a return to regularly scheduled winter temperatures. By the time Friday rolled around I knew I was in need of escape, so Saturday morning jumped in the car and made the journey down to RareFind Nursery for their Hamamellis festival. I was pleased to see I wasn’t the only one ready for a plant day.
In case you’re wondering, Hamamellis are the witch hazels, and you need witch hazels. Their winter-defying flowers bring color to a garden still very much in grey mode, and for more northern gardeners there just isn’t much else that even comes close. At this year’s hamamellis festival Steven Kristoph gave an interesting talk on the range and specifics of this plant family, but my lazy take-away was pay attention to bloom time when selecting, plant in decent soil with a little shade from the fiercest sun and they should be trouble free and bring late-winter joy for years to come… even when the crumbling of winter drags on longer than it should.
Was the 300 mile round-trip to New Jersey worth it? Your results may vary, but I say absolutely, and I’m entirely pleased with the goodies which followed me home. There is a week of lows in the teens and just about no days above freezing next week, so I’m between temporarily digging them in pot-and-all outside along the foundation of the house, or bringing them in to the garage for winter garden enjoyment, but that’s a decision for later today. In the meantime I’m avoiding the gloom outside and I hope there’s a little more sunshine and warmth where you are. Have a great week!