I’ve got this sweet smelling hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ , commonly known as one of the witch hazels, casting its spell on me at the moment – I just love it! Currently sitting just outside the back door in a fiery red pot, I’m now plucking up courage to plant it out – the last one I had didn’t make it to the following winter! My mom has several in her garden, large healthy looking plants and she doesn’t do anything in particular to ensure they flourish. My lovely specimen (and I don’t have any more) has been in a pot for two years now and really it ought to be found a permanent home, so I’ve done my homework on site and soil condition. This plant will need an open site, sun or partial shade and importantly well drained soil – as I am on pH neutral soil with clay, plant of horticultural grit will be added to a wide and deep planting hole, along with John Innes no. 3 and some mycorrhizal fungi to the roots. A job for February!
Another lovely winter flowering plant is this little sarcocca hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’- it has been very slow growing and is now just two feet tall, but doesn’t match this in spread, even though it’s been in the ground for at least 8 years. As it’s in semi-shade, I think the reason is most likely a lack of nutrients (one or two leaves have a tinge of yellow to them) and so I’ve mulched around its base with blood fish and bone and a top layer of compost. Fingers crossed!
Snow drops are on their way through, this cluster is about to brighten the bed at the back of the pond, and there are plenty more around the garden. We haven’t planted any of these, they were already naturalised in the borders – I don’t know if they’re all the same variety, but this year I’m going to try and identify them, watch this space……..