Posted on Mar 12, 2011 | 0 comments

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copyright Maria von Brincken 2011

copyright Maria von Brincken 2011

 

An unlikely combination, but the welcoming cheer of early blooming Witch Hazel ‘Arnold’s Promise’ greets me outside, while the white orchids inside provide a note of grace.

Note that the green leaves of the broad-leaf evergreen Rhododendron provides contrast so I can “see” the wonderful yellow flowers of the Hamamelis. In earlier winters, I hadn’t combined the two and found that the flowers were almost invisible.

Some people think this plant is an early flowering version of a Forsythia.  It’s not.  It blooms several weeks before the forsythia. The two have different flower shapes, different branching structure, and of course, different bloom times. But they look similar from a distance when mature in that they both bloom with tons of  bright yellow flowers. The witch hazel is supposed to be fragrant–but mine doesn’t seem to have a scent. Perhaps when it’s larger and there are more blossoms I’ll catch a whiff. 

I’m pruning it to be a small multistemmed tree shape rather than a densely stemmed large shrub so it works with my landscape vision. That vision wants the most amount of flowering plants in a small space. So the hamamelis pruned as a small tree allows perennial plantings to surround it. This plant plays an important role in my winter composition as it’s budded branches look great contrasting with neighboring plants carrying winter leaves. In the fall, the cold weather causes the leaves to turn to yellow–again a nice contrast to green leaves behind.

Meanwhile, inside the orchids creates an awesome indoor combination of leaves and flowers that amazes me with its’ beauty daily. I like the shadows cast on the wall behind. The tag identifies this plant as a Phalaenopsis  Taisuco kochidian “NFS” x self. I’m thankful for the beauty these plants bring to my life.

 

copyright Maria von Brincken 2011

copyright Maria von Brincken 2011