A bit of sunshine

I wandered around my garden late this afternoon. There wasn’t much colour to speak of, leaves needed raking, and weeds were growing, but there was something to cheer me up.

Witch Hazel Tree

This Witch-Hazel tree, a native of China (Hamamelis mollis), is bursting with flowers at the moment, and always manages to flower for Christmas Day.

It is also a favourite food for the Feathered Thorn larva (Colotois pennaria) a very understated UK moth usually found flying round your gardens from September to November. Apparently it gets it’s name from the male’s feathery antenna.

Feathered Thorn Moth

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

As you can see from this picture below, each long yellow petal of the witch-hazel unfurls itself from a small red bud.

It lost it’s golden leaves a good month ago, so it now looks like a tree covered in tiny yellow fingers, and the smell is intoxicating!

Witch Hazel Tree

Both Witch-hazel photos taken by me

If you plant one tree/shrub in 2008 I’d suggest you make it a witch-hazel. They don’t grow too big, they have lush large green leaves in spring, orange/red leaves in autumn, are great for wildlife, flower at Christmas and smell gorgeous – what more could you ask for??


4 thoughts on “A bit of sunshine

  1. Hi again, Jane 🙂

    Yes the witch-hazel is the one for colour in the garden at this time of year. Winter Jasmine with its yellow flowers is another.

    There are always plants we can enjoy whatever time of year it is, great isn’t it 😀

  2. Hi Shirl. I guess we should be in bed… I think I should buy a winter jasmine. My garden needs some more winter colour. The witch-hazel is about the only thing flowering (except for a few camellias which shouldn’t really be out yet).

  3. What a lovely idea. I’ve always wanted a witch-hazel, so maybe this year . . .
    I bought a jasmine recently – can’t wait for the flowers, but it’s very young yet.
    Have a great New Year!

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