Last week I was frolicking with the Sandhill Cranes on the golf course in Titusville, FL. My Mom has a winter home there and mid-January seemed a good opportunity to visit with her and enjoy the warmth. Timing is everything. I was away when the cold arctic air descended on much of the country last week. Florida was sunny and relatively warm. When one leaves the garden for a week in June there are drastic changes. In January, not so much. The only major change was to the thermometer.
There were subtle changes. The rhododendron leaves exhibit a curling response to the cold and when it is very cold, they really shiver. There was a sprinkling of snow on the garden when I returned. When the temperature dips to single digits it is best to have a heavy blanket on the beds both inside and out.Some things are out of our control and only time will tell if the low temps have caused any major damage. Many gardeners take chances with plants which are on the edge of their hardiness zone. I rarely take that chance any longer. Mother Nature has trained me in this regard. What about you? Do you have any 'On Edge' plants which you are worried about this winter?
Easter morning dawns cold but sunny. The birds are busy but there are no bunnies in sight. Most of the gardens are still tucked under their blanket of oak leaves. So many chores and so little time!
Here is an early spring picture of Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diana' or witchhazel. It is one of the earliest spring bloomers
and, as you can see, a great spot of color. There are many cultivars to choose from with range of color from red through pale yellow. Consider planting one this spring. This is a small tree which grows between 15' and 20' high. Good fall color can be expected but they are a bit coarse during the summer. The do look very nice in a shrub border or on the edge of the woods.
The yellow variety is 'Arnold's Promise' Both varieties are readily available at any nursery or garden center.