Rosie over at leavesnbloom posted a blog about the selection of witch hazels she grows in her garden up in Perthshire (around 40 miles north of here) - I knew then that they might be a suitable candidate for my garden. I made visits to a few local nurseries in the hope that I could source a specific cultivar. Alas, it was not to be! It was by this time around February therefore possibly a little too late. A mental note was made to try again this winter.
I made an early start on Sunday morning. No, not to go plant shopping but to finish purchasing all the gifts for Christmas. I was very thorough - list in hand off I headed. The early bird catches the worm and all that! I had no issue in finding a parking space unlike the queue of shoppers waiting to enter the mall car park a little after 1pm just as I was leaving. As I was driving home, my son called to tell me that my brother and his kids had turned up unannounced. He knew I would have a car load and would not want them to see where I had been. It was cold and wet. I didn't relish the thought of joining a queue to get in somewhere else. What could I do to pass the 30 minutes or so until they were gone. A quick u-turn saw me heading straight for a local plant nursery - I'd be able to get a bite to eat and a warm drink. I'd check out the sale tables, there are often bargains to be had at this time of the year.
As is usual with these kind of places you must enter through an indoor shopping area first. It was packed! Santa's Grotto in the corner was the reason - I didn't think the car park was particularly full but the Christmas Muzak could be heard a mile off. I was kind of put off a slice of cake and a cuppa. Now I don't mean to sound Bah Hum Bug but as I had just left a shopping mall full of similar scenes, I wasn't in the mood for anymore.
I pulled open the double doors to make my way to plant section - the area directly outside there is reserved for seasonal plants all year round. It's a very tempting area and I've been bitten many a time! This visit was not unlike any other, my attention was grabbed. Groups of plants, standing tall, displayed beautifully, in the midst of these groups were a variety of tall shrubs but what stood out more than any other plant was an array of Witch Hazel shrubs. All adorned with yellow, red and orange coloured ribbon like flowers. I immediately began checking the labels, ignoring the yellow flowered variety, it took me a while to find the one I was looking for. There was a point at which I thought I was going to disappointed again - but no, there was an even bigger selection down in the shrub section. My luck was in! There she was! I say she because the plant I was looking for was named after the plant breader's wife. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' is according to the RHS one of today's best cultivar of Witch Hazel. This cultivar has been awarded their Award of Garden Merit, which is always a good sign that you've chosen a great plant.
|Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' (agm)|
She will be under planted with some bulbs and possibly some Hellebores - there is little available to buy at the moment but I'm sure come the New Year I'll be spoilt for choice!
I hope all your Christmas plans are on schedule and like me well organised, for a change!