Witch Hazel: A Winter Blooming Goddess for Your Garden

Witch Hazels ‘Hamamelis x intermedia’ is one of the first shrubs to bloom in the late winter. They boldly push through snow and chilly nights to send out exquisite and unexpected blooms when you least expect it.

Growers are producing beautiful new cultivars like this that dazzle the garden color palette in late winter. The added feature of having an alluring fragrance makes them even more enticing. Site selection is important as these shrubs can get quite large. Witch hazels are impressive when backlit by the western sun surrounded by a grove of evergreens.


Witch hazel ‘Ruby Glow’ — bewitching vivid red color makes a dramatic statement in the late winter garden


Witch hazel ‘Sweet sunshine’ — soft and pale yellow with delicately fragrant flowers


A new Japanese selection ‘Shibamichi Red’ — a real standout against the grey light in late winter


Witch hazel ‘Barmstedt Gold’ — bold golden flowers that really stand out in the winter garden


Witch hazel ‘Birgit’ — strong purple-red colors with feathery flowers that cascade downward


No garden should be without Witch hazel. It blooms so early and continues to flower for 4-6 weeks in very late winter.


‘Arnold’s Promise’ an easy to find variety of witch hazel, planting along a woodland border makes it really stand out


‘Amethyst’ a totally mesmerizing color in the world of witch hazels, delicately unforgettable

Planting an Interior Spring Garden to Feed My Soul

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It might take a little more time before our abundant snows melt and we see spring bulbs, so I decided to plant an interior spring garden as a reminder that spring can bloom inside no matter what the weather is outside.

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Since all my nice large containers are buried in snow right now, I needed to evict my cat Milo from his winter sleeping place. Yes, he curls up in one of my antique Victorian urns for winter naps…naturally in a sunny spot.

I dream about the sun myself — those warm, sun-filled days to come, and the flowers that will be revealed…

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(Witch hazel already in bloom. This shrub blooms from early March through April. It really should be in everyone’s garden.)

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(Hellebore flower bud just unfurling in my shade garden.)

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That revelation will begin soon. Our treasured flowers and shrubs will emerge from the snow—the “poor man’s fertilizer” that insulates and carries beneficial minerals into our gardens—hopefully no worse for the wear of this long winter.

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But for now, Milo and I both must be content with an indoor spring, the Narcissus blooming by the window, and a new season just a week away.