contrasting evergreen planted behind it would set off its few flowers better. Its second spring growing here I had hoped it would be covered thickly with brilliant yellow flowers. Last year it looked similar to the plant forced into bloom pictured above. Ironically displayed in an exhibit for Blooms! by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MHS) located at the Chestnut Hill Mall March 13-15 while outside in the New England landscape it’s siblings’ are blossoming now long before the perennials shown in the exhibit emerge. You can see in my photo the snow covered ground. The shrub, still flowering in my garden a week after the photo was taken, the snow has melted to reveal spring bulb tips beginning to emerge without a perennial in sight! Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’ grows about 10′ tall and wide. As a mature plant its eye-catching yellow blooms tend to appear on its’ upper third. It’s often mistaken for an early blooming forsythia but its’ form and flowers are remarkably different. You can recognise the witch hazel’s upright habit from a distance. Up close its’ flowers–long thin drooping petals as seen above–differ dramatically from the smaller forsythia. I plan to prune my witch hazel into the shape of a small multi stemmed tree so I can layer perennials beneath its canopy. I’ve also positioned it so its form will screen a view I want to hide. Its lovely summer foliage, winter habit of buds along its stems that captures snow in an enchanting manner, and early spring flowering makes this a wonderful plant ideal for use in the native border or small space ornamental garden.
Days after the snowstorm, the witch hazel in my garden bloomed. Sparsely. I was a bit disappointed. My expectations set too high, I realized a