Diane, You Look Marvelous!

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Glancing out the window as the rising sun just begins to illuminate the tightly curled petals of the witch hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

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…It seems as though the tree is ablaze.

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Never before have there been so many blooms.

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The hue is henna tinged in the cold, bright light, with a single wisp of golden threads.

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Early on clear, crisp mornings, frozen fingers click, click away to try to capture the beauty.

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The best images seem to be with the blue sky in the background, looking upward from under the canopy of bare branches.

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You have grown up quite nicely, my dear.

Here is the young Diane in her second year in the garden on February 24, 2004. Even at that tender age, she is showing great potential. Note the size of the Chamaecyparis ‘Gold Mops’, too.


To read more about Diane and the plant facts of growing Hamamelis x intermedia, click here-Faire Diane, a post written in 2009 that also tells the history of our sweet and marvelous Diane.


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25 Responses to Diane, You Look Marvelous!

  1. Wow, Frances, that is just wonderfully lovely! I’ve always wanted ‘Diane’ or ‘Jelena’ but can’t seem to find one that is nice and that is affordable. SO pretty!

    Hi Kylee, thanks for visiting, nice to see you here. Diane was quite expensive, mail ordered and but a tiny stick. I have seen larger ones in nurseries more recently for about the same price, accounting for inflation. Arnold Promise was such a one. Affordable is a relative term when it comes to plants.

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    My Diane is also blooming. It started blooming at the bottom and is making its way up the tree. Mine is a first time bloom since I didn’t plant them until this fall. It is exciting to have blooms in the garden in February.

    Oh Lisa, I am thrilled to hear that you also have Diane and that she is blooming for you already! It won’t be long before all of her buds open for you. May she give pleasure to you for many years to come! Those winter blooms are quite special. I have been seeking them out for quite some time and am so glad to have them.

  3. What a beautiful witch hazel…my witch hazel is dormant in its blanket of snow

    Hi Donna, thanks. Sometimes our Diane has been in full bloom in blizzard conditions. Not often, and not the kind of snow that you get, but still…she is a tough beauty.

  4. gail says:

    She’s a beauty Frances! She has grown up! Her wonderful blooms against that blue sky are delicious. Diane is blooming here, but, she hides her beauty behind her leaves! Perhaps, it’s the shade she’s growing in? But even leaves cannot dim the lovely Diane. xoxoxgail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. Diane has grown up nicely, that is for sure. Her leaves were snipped, one by one last fall, to better appreciate your beauty now. Sort of like plucking eyebrows, eh? HA

  5. It’s so nice you have included the photo from 2004. What good friends you and Diane must be by now, with you urging her on through thick and thin (especially drought) and she offering the reward of her exotic winter blooms.

    Hi Marian, thanks so much. Diane and I have seen many changes to the garden and the both of us! Since I planted every single plant, shrub and tree here, I feel the garden is my family and I its mother.

  6. Diana Studer says:

    Never before so many blooms? It is that sort of year for our Pride of India / crepe myrtle. There’s a huge frilly pink umbrella arching over our driveway.

    Hi Diana, thanks for stopping by, so nice to see you here. Diane had a poor showing last year, it got very hot much too early and her blooms were cooked and fell of prematurely. Also there were very strong storms that blew the remainder of the flowers off. It seems once a tree or shrub has a poor showing, the next year they make up for it. Your crepe myrtle sounds delicious!

  7. Layanee says:

    She is lovely, indeed.

    Thanks, Layanee.

  8. yardflower says:

    ‘Diane’ is so beautiful for you. In my Mississippi garden, though, she holds dried leaves all winter and it interferes with the flower display. I’ve even gone so far as to pick them off a branch or two – probably on the quest for a photo op… Needless to say it was much too tedious. ‘Jelena’, on the other hand, does drop leaves and is much showier in the deep South.

    Hi Yardflower, thanks for sharing here. Diane and Jelena are sisters, bred by the same nursery and similar in habit. In most years, I cut the dried leaves off in late fall, sometimes on a ladder even. Yes, it is tedious, but most gardening consists of tedious tasks. I knew it would be worth the effort to remove the leaves. Good for you with Jelena putting on the good show without extra work!

  9. Those back lit blooms are like little fireworks displays…looks like you get to have your own personal 4th of July in February! I’ve never grown a witch hazel but this post makes me wonder why I have allowed myself to be so deprived. Do you think fall is the best time for planting one? I better go read your linked to post so I’m better informed.

    Hi Michaele, thanks for visiting. Since we pruned those silly gold mops that had gotten way too tall, Diane and the deciduous azaleas now get much more light. The sunshine does ignite the blooms, it is amazing and the camera was not able to share how wonderful it really is. You do need a witch hazel!

  10. Christy says:

    Hi Frances! Diane is just beautiful!! I especially like that first shot with the sun streaming through her. One of your comments above really hit home with me…you said since you planted all of your plants you feel like you are their mother. That’s exactly how I feel about my plants!! BTW….was your header picture with all the Waxwings taken in your garden? I love that picture!

    Hi Christy, thanks for adding to the conversation. The sun works magic on the garden. My photography skills cannot do it justice. The header photo is explained at length in the post Thirsty Throngs, featured at the top of the older posts of interest on my sidebar. Yes, it is in my garden. https://fairegarden.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/thirsty-throngs/

  11. JaymeB says:

    Always a joy Frances!
    Have just found a ‘Diane’ for Entwined Garden…. At the Raleigh, NC Habitat ReUse Center… It’s not the prettiest specimen but for $5…. I will love her and prune her into shape. Anyone in Raleigh – they might still have them…. Also ‘Jelena’! Lonicera frangrantissima and some Grey Owls!

    Not sure why they were there… I hope it doesn’t mean another nursery out of business.

    Wow, Jayme, that is some good price for Diane! I would buy them all! Mine, as a stick from mail order was more than 10 times that amount. Larger specimens go for much more. Anything planted small will do better, all you need is patience.

  12. Marvelous indeed! Diane seems much more floriferous than our native witch hazels!

    Hi Jason, thanks for visiting. These Chinese hybrids are most more showy than the natives, yes. I do have H. vernalis, more of a tree than a shrub really.

  13. Cindy says:

    Diane is certainly a beauty! Like many of the plants you grow, she would not be happy on my corner of Katy. That means I enjoy your pictures all the more!

    Hi Cindy, thanks. We are most fortunate in our growing zone 7a. We can have tulips and lilacs, but also Camellias and Dahlias. It is the best of all growing worlds.

  14. Alison says:

    Wow! Your Diane is spectacular! I have one that has only been in the ground for almost two years, and there are only two blooms on it. I’m hoping it will look as good as yours after almost ten years. I think they must be very late bloomers.

    Hi Alison, thanks. It took Diane a while to get going. We had an early year with only tow blooms. Hang in there and give her extra water in times of drought, if you ever experience drought there. She will reward your patience.

  15. lynngator says:

    Gorgeous, Frances. I have never grown one but you are giving me ideas. (Expensive ones, of course!_)

    Hi Lynn, thanks for visiting. The witch hazels are not cheap, that is for sure, even when you can find one. But, a flowering tree at this time of year is worth its weight…

  16. Karen says:

    Beautiful. May I ask what camera and lens you use in your photography?

    Hi Karen, thanks so much. I am a point and shoot on auto photographer, but I know my garden well, and when the lighting is the best in it. My cameras are the Canon Powershot A720 IS and the new camera, Canon Powershot SX260HS.

  17. Dee says:

    I have a small ‘Diane’ upon your recommendation. I need to look, but this is her third season I think. Yours is lovely. Yes, she’s a sprightly thing. I love your chamy too.

    Hi Dee, thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you got your own Diane. She seems to be a slow grower, but with some extra water finally gets her groove going and grows faster. I love chamys, and have learned that they do much better with regular pruning. I was lazy and did not prune for several years but now have them under control.

  18. Now I want that Diane too.

    Catharine, you need Diane. You must have Diane! HA

  19. Oh, yes, I would say so (in confirmation of your post title). I’ve seen so many magical photos of Witch Hazel on blogs this year. I have a renewed appreciation for it!

    Hi Beth, thanks. I read articles in magazines about the witch hazels, and other winter blooming trees and shrubs for years before finally getting one. I am so glad to have them now.

  20. Annette says:

    Hej, those are beautiful blossoms and photos. Here in Germany the Hamamelis blossoms are under a lot of snow! Here Diane grows equally in our garden …
    You have a wonderful blog!

    Many greetings from Annette

    Hi Annette, thanks so much for visiting. I love hearing about the same plants growing well in other parts of the world. Your kind words bring a happy smile to my face, thank you!

  21. Lola says:

    Oh beautiful, I would welcome frozen fingers to get a shot at these beauties.

    Thanks Lola. I feel the same way!

  22. She is a beauty! Great photos too! Ours has been good this year too with more flowers than ever before.

    Hi Green Bench, thanks. That is great about your witch hazel having so many flowers, too. Some years are definintely better than others, mostly due to the weather. This is a very good year.

  23. Carolyn says:

    Oh my! She certainly is! To think you have blooms absolutely blows me away… still under snow here. Every year I see posts of witch hazel blooms and wish they were in my landscape. So enchanting!

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for stopping by. Our zone 7a February is the beginning of spring with many things in bloom. We can still get below freezing temps and even snow, but the garden marches on!

  24. Les says:

    You should be very proud, she has grown up to be such a lovely young lady.

    Hi Les, thanks, so nice to see you. I am quite proud of Diane, she is ravishing!

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