January’s Garden Update


Today, I take a brief respite from wheels and spinning and wool and knitting to revisit an earlier love. My gardens. I achieved a fairly large goal I had set for myself; I have something blooming in my garden 12 months out of the year.

I didn’t get as much work on wheel restoration, or on knitting, done in 2012 because I doing a fairly complete overhaul of the gardens. I had several visions of what I wanted and realized that, not getting any younger, if I didn’t focus on the gardens in 2012 I probably would never get around to what I wanted.

The overhaul included the laying of much rock. Somewhere, one of my long-past Irish ancestors is probably slapping their knee and thinking “here’s a chip off the old stonewall-setting block.” There was also much planting. MUCH planting. So far, the majority seem to be making it through the winter and promise some wonderful photo ops throughout the year.

On this day of snow and sleet, the witch hazels are blooming:

witch hazel 1

This was the first witch hazel I’d ever put in, going back almost ten years. It is supposed to be “Jelena” but I think it was mislabeled, as Jelena is a bright coppery orange and this clearly is reddish. It had been in the front garden where it was largely unnoticed, but when I set the raised stone bed in the back yard, I moved this to be in front of the slate.

january 2013 065

That is a “Janet Blair” rhody right behind and I’m hoping for some nice blooms, given the size of the buds. I like witch hazels because they always remind me of little bursts of fireworks:

witch hazel 3

The Jelena bloomed very well in its new spot. Its former spot is now occupied by another witch hazel, but one with showier blooms, “Barmstedt’s Gold:”

witch hazel 4

Barmstedt’s Gold shows up much better against the evergreen foliage of a spring-blooming camelia (and note the HUGE bud on the camelia, if the squirrels don’t get them!). Also, even though it doesn’t show in the photos, the Barmstedt’s is behind a sango kaku, a type of Japanese maple with coral-colored bark. I’m hoping the Barmstedt’s will fill out and provide a yellow backdrop to the red bark during late winter.

witch hazel 5

The Barmstedt’s is just opening up; while the reddish on is pretty much full bloomed. Plenty of buds to come on the Barmstedt’s, through:

witch hazel 6

And despite the snow, the sleet, the freezing rain, the garden is now full of promise for the spring to come:

witch hazel 7



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