So I haven’t posted on here in quite a while. 2011 got very busy for me and a lot of progress was made on Jaliya’s garden as well as the plantings around the house. I hired a landscape architect to help with my business as I found I didn’t have enough time to keep up with all the design work myself. He is a plant nut like myself. It’s like living with your crack dealer. He showed me new plants for me to try as well as new sources for plants I had been looking for. Needless to say, I spent a lot of money on plants last year and Jaliya’s garden is filling up. I found a source for native azaleas here in North Carolina and added several species to the garden. I also purchased the new Hamamelis ovalis which was a new species discovered just a few years ago. Other witch hazels I discovered were Hamamelis purpurea which has purple flowers and is blooming now. Another is Hamamelis vervalis Lombart’s Weeping which of course is a weeping witch hazel.
I’ve also added Physocarpus ‘Little Devil’ which is a smaller version of the more well known Physocarpus ‘Diablo’. The Diablo has done very well for me so having a smaller version was a no-brainer. I think I may actually like it better. I will write a post about it with pictures when it blooms later this year. Another new purchase is Diervilla sessilifolia ‘Cool Splash’ This is a rare native plant to start with but this variety is variegated. It held it’s leaves late into the season, and in fact still has a good many of it’s leaves now in the middle of January. More posts will follow through out the year as plants reach their prime season.
One of the few native plants blooming at this time of year is the native Witchhazel. Hamamelis vernalis is blooming now in my garden. The Hamamelis virginiana blooms in the fall. The blooms are not showy on my witchhazel right now because it has the habit of keeping it’s brown leaves all winter. The flowers are small and not brightly colored. They are however, fragrant when you get close.
Some of the more commonly used witchhazels are actually the Asian hybrids. The hamamelis mollis is from China and the hamamelis japonica is from Japan. Many of the witchhazels in American gardens are actually a cross between these two species. Common ones are “Jelena” and “Diane.”
In Jaliya’s garden I have included both of the native species. To be honest, they aren’t much more than background plants most of the time. The unusual flowers are interesting but only upon close inspection. Maybe over time, plantsmen will find more interesting varieties of the native species so us native plant lovers can have beautiful witchhazels without resorting to planting the exotics.
Witchhazels get their name from the fact that in the past, some people believed that if you cut a “Y” shaped branch from the plant, you could use it to locate underground water sources, practice called water-witching.