Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - January 15th

I was pessimistic that there would be many flowers outdoors this time of the year. The witch hazels bloomed just in time and the camellia is ever reliable but I was surprised to find a couple of other plants blooming. With the exception of one witch hazel photo, these were taken at daybreak this morning.

Yellow Witch-hazel, Hamamellis japonica?

We have two red flowered Witch-hazels. This one appears to be slightly more orange and starts blooming a week earlier than the one in the two photos below. Hamamelis × intermedia (H. japonica × H. mollis)?

Witch-hazel, Hamamelis × intermedia? (H. japonica × H. mollis)

A really tough Primrose. Note the frozen look of the leaves. We have several others but none show any signs of buds or flowers.

English Daisy, Bellis Perennis 'Pomponette' trying mightyly to bloom.

The valiant and reliable Camellia Japonica 'Spring's Promise'


Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Happy GBBD Ki and your witchhazel blooms look enchanting. ;-) I live very close by arboretum Kalmthout, world famous for it's huge collection of Hamamelis. I visited it last year when all the hamamelis where in flower, it was wonderful. Are yours scented? Love the suprise blooms of the rpimrose and the English daisy!

My blooms are up too.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Carolyn gail said...

Geez, Ki, I thought it was COLD up in Jersey. You've got witchhazel blooming this time of year ? What zone are you in ?

The photos are lovely.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

I never realized how pretty the witch hazel flowers could be - especially that red one with the yellow shading toward the edges. I was wondering too if they're fragrant.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Yolanda Elizabet,
It must be heavenly to visit the Kalmthout when all the Witch-hazels are blooming. I remember commenting in past year's posts that the Witch-hazels had a wonderful smell but I didn't notice it this year. It could be that it's been very windy for most of the winter so I can't smell it but I know that the native H. virginiana does have a stronger scent but that one is only just starting to break bud. The surprise blooms are a gift. Thanks for your comment.

Hi Carolyn Gail,
Thanks. Zone 6b. It has been a pretty mild winter so far tho it's supposed to get into the 20's this weekend. We've been mostly in the 40's sometimes dropping into the 30's for just a few days and other times soaring into the 60's. I guess the mildness and quick moving weather pattern is associated with the La Nina we are experiencing this year. The Witch-hazels are especially nice since almost nothing else blooms at this time of the year. Thanks for the comments.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,
The flowers are quite small but anything blooming now is much appreciated! They are pretty in a crinkly, spidery sort of way. I didn't notice until I posted the pictures that the red ones were actually multi-colored as you mentioned, with yellow edging the petals. That's one reason I like digital cameras - it enables you to see so much more detail.
As I mentioned to Yolanda Elizabet,
I thought they were fragrant and I can remember raving about the scent previously but I don't smell it this year. Maybe it's because they just started blooming or because it's too breezy and the smell is carried off. I did get my nose up to the yellow one but couldn't detect a scent. I'll give it a sniff later when it's not so windy. I remember that the native one was very fragrant as I can remember walking past it last year every time I filled the bird feeders which are placed nearby but they're only starting to bloom so there is no fragrance yet.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

The witch hazel bloom has such a unique and pretty form!
Everything here is covered with snow.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Between the photos posted by you and Annie in Austin, I'm falling for the camellia.

I love your witch hazels, too. I don't think I've ever seen a witch hazel.

8:18 PM  
Blogger kate said...

The orange/red and red-coloured witch hazels are really striking. I didn't realise that they came in these colours. The Primrose is certainly hardy as is the Camellia. I am so impressed by how well it grows for you. The leaves are also so glossy.

I think you are doing great with your garden in January for GBBD!

8:49 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Connie,
The witch hazel flowers are indeed quite unique. I can't think of any flower that looks like them. Just a dusting of snow so far this year but lots of rain - like the Pacific Northwest.

I would highly recommend Camellias but they require an acid soil. I know Annie can grow them but Pam said her soil was too alkaline for them to survive so it's probably best to do a soil test before you buy a plant or two. I wanted to get a white one but zone 6 is too cold for Camellias and I have no more room in the micro clime I've planted the two I have now. Witch hazels are quite a unique shrub because they bloom in the dead of winter. Some of the ornamental varieties also have nice fall leaf colors.

Hi Kate,
The ornamental witch hazels are much more floriferous and colorful than the native H. viginiana. We always bought primrose for the indoors and was pleasantly surprised that they grew quite well outdoors. The white and blue/purple flowered ones seem to be the hardiest and remain evergreen throughout the winter. The Camellia is also evergreen so it makes a nice shrub even if there aren't any flowers.

Thanks all for stopping by.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

Thanks for these, Ki. Nothing blooming in my gardens except one tiny Winter Jasmine flower. I took a picture of it but it is hardly worth posting.

There are a few more Witch Hazel cultivars for you to collect. I hope they come out with a dwarf one soon.

Sometimes you have to get your nose right up close to smell them. The scent is refreshing to me.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Chris,
I love the smell of witch hazel. It smells like expensive perfume to my nose. I really did think the red flowered ones had a scent but I'll have to try it again when it's not so windy and cold. Unfortunately we've run out of space so no more witch hazel collecting for me. I'll have to make do with the four plants we have now ;) The yellow flowered one is quite small and has hardly grown much in the 3 or 4 years we've had it. It spreads rather than growing up. Although the red ones were the same size as the yellow, they've really grown and are now more than 6 feet tall. Unfortunately none of them had tags so I don't know the name of the varieties.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Hello Ki,

Here I am on Firefox and your photos are lovely as always!

The regular yellow witch hazel was on my wishlist for our Illinois garden...I had a planting spot picked out and everything! Even if I planted it, it might not have survived so I sure like looking at your various Hamamelis. I don't remember seeing the red one offered for sale when I lived in IL.

Is the air very dry in your area? Maybe those floral filaments need a certain level of humidity before they release the scent?

Your temperatures sound like what we're getting this week in Austin.... high in the 40's for tomorrow, with a couple of frosty nights on the horizon. Not exactly a tropical paradise!

Happy Blooming Day~

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

[Oh my! The word verification is so appropriate! It's "hzbud" which could = hazel bud?]

6:53 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
Sorry you have to use FireFox to view my blog. I still haven't found the broken links. I actually like FF better than IE and supposedly it doesn't have the holes that IE has which allows hackers to infiltrate your computer but I gotta find a fix or redo the blog, yuck.

The yellow witch hazel seems to be a semi-dwarf and grows happily in deep semi shade close to our pond. I've seen photos of other yellow witch hazels that seem to be much more abundantly floriferous but I'm quite happy with the semi-dwarf character of the one I have. I haven't looked at witch hazels online but I bet there are quite a few new cultivars of reds and yellows now.

Actually, it's been quite wet so it may be the wind that's causing the scent to be blown away? Or perhaps the flowers aren't sufficiently open for the scent to be released?

Ooof, 40's huh? That's still better than the 20's we're expecting this weekend. Who knows in a few years we may be moving down your way to get away from the cold and taxes that is if the real estate prices haven't gone through the roof with all the boomers relocating to warmer climes.

Uncanny how the word verif. can sometimes reflect the content of the blog. I wonder if that's an unintended product of Google's search bots?

8:33 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Your witchhazel blooms are lovely. i never saw witch hazel blooming. The yellow ones remind me of Ylang Ylang

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Layanee said...

NJ? That is not so far from RI and you have witch hazel in bloom! Worlds apart aren't we! Love witch hazels!Nice photos!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, while blog-hopping I read someone's comment that her Witch Hazels only released a scent when the air was above a certain temperature, but now I can't figure out where I read it to give the person credit for the observation.

Firefox gets more intuitive with practice - if I have a new skill your blog gets the credit ;-]


6:01 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Well, I have never seen Ylang Ylang blooming so we are even. ;) I've only seen Ylang Ylang listed in some herbal books but I have no idea how to use it nor what the plants and flowers look like. Must be interesting if it resembles witch hazels. I wonder if they're related?
Thanks. RI must be only 4-5 hrs. away from central NJ? but you have much more ocean influence so the differences could be huge. Do you grow witch hazels and if so when do they usually bloom?

I was out filling the bird feeders this afternoon so I made it a point to sniff the witch hazels. I first tried the H. virginiana whose flowers were few and seemed shriveled. I barely detected a faint scent but it seemed complex and very nice. I then tried the red one but could not detect any scent at all. It would make sense that the plant releases its scent only when the temperatures are warm enough to attract pollinators though I don't know what that could possibly be. Now my interest is piqued so I'll have to do some research.

I've tried a bunch of different browsers, Netscape, IE, Opera, Avant, K-Meleon, Dillo, Fast Browser. FireFox is the one I like best. I'm currently using FireFox Beta 2 in it's testing stage. It's purported to be smaller than FireFox yet full featured so pages load quickly with all the neat things FireFox can do. There are some bugs to work out, like some of the punctuation is displayed strangely but for the most part it works pretty well. I'm sure they'll offer it as the newest FireFox browser in the near future. They say trying new things makes the mind supple but in my case it only seems to lead to more confusion.

Do enable your tabbed browsing feature in FF. You can then open multiple pages so you can write and research stuff w/o having to close a page. You can go back and forth to different pages by just clicking on the tabs. Thanks for the info on witch hazel scent.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hooray, I can finally see your pictures with IE7! Those witch hazels look like something that would bloom in the winter, all wild looking. I should get one for my garden!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

2:51 PM  

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