This is the time of endings and beginnings. Even though the hubbub of the holidays is not quite over inside the house, outside the time of the new has already gotten underway. On a rare day of almost warm, read above freezing temps, waiting for sunshine, it never happened, close inspection paid dividends of delightful surprises.
Not readily apparent, but visible to prying eyes, with new glasses from a real eye doctor!, the witch hazel Diane, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ has buds that are popping. Ever so slightly, the color of the petals is showing.
…for Faire Diane, the title of last year’s post about this little tree’s history, click here-Faire Diane to view it, is stubbornly holding her leaves. We don’t remember this being a problem in the past, but there is only one thing to do, remove them. But wait, this needs to be captured and shared on the blog. Go get the camera before you pull them all off, woman!
Okay, we’re back. The insulting leaf is grasped tightly but carefully so as not to damage even one of these precious buds. Pull in the direction that the leaf stem is growing, gently. You might have to put the camera down and hold the stem to do this. Do every single one to have the prettiest flower show. Best to do it early, before the buds have opened, is the philosophy of the Fairegardener. As to the length of that thumbnail, we actually keep our nails trimmed short but leave the thumbs longer to use as tools, such as screwdrivers or to nip soft stems. Like a cocaine user grows a long pinky nail to scoop up the illicit dust, so I have heard, gardening thumb nails can be equally useful and much better for one’s health if difficult to keep clean.
What about our newer witch hazel, H. x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’? (Oh how I want to call this Arnold’s rather than Arnold, we went back and corrected the error in previous posts.) An anniversary gift last year from The Financier, Arnold had spent the winter in an Asheville greenhouse before being planted out late last January. Who in their right minds gets married in late January, one might ask? Every anniversary is cold and snowy, no matter where we have lived. Oops, straying off topic. Sorry, we got distracted there for a moment.
The point being made before the thought detour above is that last year Arnold did not bloom until Diane was nearly finished with her show. It is desired that they be open together, just to satisfy the hopeless romantic tendencies.
Arnold makes a fine companion to the fiery Diane, his lemony hue illustrated in this shot from late February of last year. These glimpses of what is to come help build anticipation for a new year in the Fairegarden.