Gardeners are tightening their seatbelts for any last-minute winter weather that could make spring seem far away but here are a couple of signs:
At this time of year, you can find the occasional Witchhazel in bloom. The common Witchhazel,Hammamelis virginiana blooms from fall through spring. It is not uncommon to see sporadic blossoms throughout the winter months. Witchhazel grows best in sun or partial shade and in light, moist soil. It is a common understory plant in our native woodlands. This Zone 3 plant has frost-resistant blooms. Look for its small, yellow paper-thin petals. There are many species that you can add to your own garden to ensure some early flower interest. A few Witchhazel varieties to look for in the nurseries that do well in Zone 5 (a bit less hardy than the common but much more showy) include: ‘Arnold Promise’ with delicate yellow flowers; 'Jelina', sunburst red, yellow to orange flowers; ‘Diane’, coppery orange to red flowers; and ‘Pallida’, which has a very fragrant yellow flower. All of these varieties have stunning fall foliage.
Another sign of spring is the tapping of the Maple trees. Maple syrup tapping typically occurs in the Northeast from February through March when daytime temperatures go above 40 degrees and the nights are still below freezing. As you drive the New England back roads, keep your eyes open for the maple buckets and hoses.
Even though we are in the lull of the winter and it may seem relatively quiet, look for the signs that our gardens are slowly waking up. The inspirational thought for the day is by Claudia Ghandi. “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” Have a great day. Annie
Common Witchhazel - Photo from Internet
'Jelina' - Photo from Internet
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)