The days are getting longer and there are already signs of life in the garden. One bright spot in the garden here at Heritage Museums & Gardens is one of my favorite plants for this season, Hamamelis, or witch hazel. The species is just starting to flower now.
There are several species that do well on the Cape but my favorite, and the one that is commonly available in the trade, is Hamamelis x intermedia “Arnold Promise.” This amazing plant came into flower in late December and has been in continuous flower ever since. It can flower for an amazing eight weeks. The cultivar Arnold Promise was developed by Arnold Arboretum (of Boston) and is considered one of the best of the cultivars of the species. It’s a beautiful clear yellow with strap-like flowers that are wonderfully fragrant, especially on a warmer day. When researching the genus I found 33 cultivars of Hamamelis x intermedia listed in Michael Dirr’s “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” (a book that every gardener should own).