Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Roller-coaster

The graph of the fourteen day local weather forecast looks like a roller-coaster. This weekend the temperature was a frigid -12C with a heavy snowfall. Yesterday it bounced up to+3C and over the next few days it is supposed to reach +6C with a steady rain that has already washed away the weekends snow.
Because of this, it has been difficult to post images that show the current state of the garden, it's been cold enough to bring out the intense colour on the Abies koreana Aurea , but warm enough for my witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia "Jelena' to burst into bloom. For a short time we had enough snow to transform the appearance of plants and objects, but now that has washed away, for the time being anyway. More snow is forecast for the end of the week!

This is not an unusual sight in January, the witch hazel is always ready to take advantage of any mild weather that comes its way. When its mild the flowers unfurl only to fold up again when the temperature drops.

This little Abies koreana is colourful year round, but is at its best in the Winter when its foliage ranges from lemon yellow to lime.

This Molinia caerulea is not one of those grasses that provides vertical interest in the winter garden, in fact it seems to collapse way before it's hit by heavy snow falls, for that reason I gave it a severe haircut this Fall and I have been rewarded with this spiky transformation.


CallieK said...

This weather is crazy! But your gardens seem to be beautiful no matter what the weather.

I was just looking into purchasing a witch hazel - do you have any suggestions of where to buy and a particular variety?

Debra said...

Through reading blogs this winter, including yours, I am inspired to plant some witch hazel this spring. I think it's lovely.

The ornamental grass I have doesn't hold well up to winter, either. I need to find one which does. ~Debra

Barry Parker said...

Hi CallieK and Debra,

I think that the Spring blooming Hamamelis is a must for us northern gardeners. It blooms every year January through to March, a time that we are very happy to see some life in the garden. They are readily available in most garden centres and nurseries in many colours, mostly reds oranges and yellows and are now reasonably priced. There is a new cultivar which has almost purple flowers ( I think called 'Amethyst'), it's a little hard to find and a bit pricey.
H. x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' is one of the best yellows and is easy to find.

I should also mention that the witch hazels have fabulous Fall colour.