Six on Saturday. Winter Cheer.

Over Christmas I enjoy early snowdrops and adorable Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ shining out in the bleakness of the December garden. But I try not to look at the little noses of bulbs appearing everywhere and I avoid my winter garden. Once we are into January then I can revel in the delights down here and if I haven’t cheated by peeping earlier I get to enjoy the full impact of the winter treasures. I knew the witch hazels were coming out but I wanted to wait until they were at their best before I saw them. So earlier this week when the sun was shining I went down for my January treat and worked in the winter garden which has come to life and is going to look at its best for the next four months. And the witch hazels are looking wonderful.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Ruby Glow’
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’

‘Jelena’ looks wonderful with a backdrop of Cornus ‘Winter Fire’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’

I think my favourite is the well-named ‘Marmalade’.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Marmalade’

The scent of Witch Hazels is bewitching but is quite elusive, they really need to be brought indoors for the full impact. But never mind, I have two very fragrant shrubs at their best right now. The first is Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ I say it is at its best, but this lovely daphne is rarely not blooming, although winter into spring is its prime time.

Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’

Chimonanthus praecox is rather a nondescript shrub and is boring in summer. But in winter it comes alive with yellow claw-like flowers with maroon centres. The scent is exquisite and I have a couple of bushes so I always have enough to pick for fragrant posies in the house.

Chimonanthus praecox

Two winter flowering cherries are looking lovely right now. They have such dainty flowers that I like them much better than some of the blowsier spring ones. They are the white Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ and the pink form ‘Rosea’

Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’

I always thought that sasanqua camellias were supposed to bloom in late autumn and when I bought the lovely red ‘Yuletide’ I hoped it would bloom for Christmas. But I read that this camellia is a hybrid between Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, it should be called Camellia x vernalis. I don’t mind what its called because this little camellia is a beauty and it brightens up a January day in my garden with its bright red flowers, yellow stamens and glossy leaves.

Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’

I have quite a few snowdrops out and I am sure some of them will make their way onto my blog this season but I have some early hellebores out and one which is looking particularly good is ‘Helleborus ‘Leona.’ So I will finish with this. This one has very large flowers and unlike so many of her sisters she faces you instead of looking down at the ground.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Leona’
Hellleborus x hybridus ‘Leona’

The winter garden has matured nicely since I established it a few years ago and there is so much else to enjoy out here; not just flowers but beautiful coloured stems as well. I shall be revisiting it very soon to show you more of my winter treasures. In the meantime I am joining The Propagator with his popular meme, Six on Saturday. In case you think I still haven’t mastered counting up to six (I know I usually slip in too many) but this week, I am counting the Witch Hazels as one and so that makes it six. I think.

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35 Responses to Six on Saturday. Winter Cheer.

  1. fredgardener says:

    Your camellia flowers look small, don’t they? Anyway, they have a really pretty colour and I was just looking for some varieties of sasanqua to add to my garden in the spring for next year’s bloom.

    • Chloris says:

      The flowers of Yuletide are quite small but they are so brightly coloured and there are lots of them. If you are lucky they are in bloom for Christmas.

  2. Heyjude says:

    You have a lovely winter garden. ‘Leona’ is a beauty!

  3. Who’s counting? There can never be too many photos of flowers. You do have a beautiful blooming garden for the winter months.

  4. lindakasmaty says:

    Fantastic winter blooms.

  5. Kris P says:

    I’m impressed that you’re able to bide your time before exploring your garden for winter blooms. I’m envious of your witch hazels, which I’ve always found intriguing (without any clue as to what they look like when they’re not in flower) but I’ve no chance at all of growing them in my climate. I’m regularly out scanning for color in my “cool season” garden. Yesterday, I discovered that Camellia ‘Taylor’s Perfection’ has produced its first blooms. ‘Taylor’s’ has C. japonica in its parentage but I understand it’s officially classified as a C. williamsii hybrid. I have a Daphne and a couple hellebores in bud but my Aloe blooms are splashier 😉

    • Chloris says:

      I’ve torn the ligament in my knee so it is quite challenging hobbling down here. But it is worth not looking at it for a while and then seeing it in all its winter glory. Many of the hybrid Witch Hazels have the most amazing autumn foliage too so you get two seasons out of them. Camellias and daphnes are good value. And yes, your aloes are.amazing..

  6. Anna says:

    Every time I see yours and Cathy’s witch hazels I think that I must plant another – ‘Ruby Glow’ is calling out to me. ‘Leona’ looks a most striking hellebore and looking at you face on is so more sociable.

    • Chloris says:

      Which Witch Hazel do you have Anna? In my garden the red and orange ones always bloom before the yellow ones so the season is extended. Leona is my latest hellebore, it was love at first sight.

  7. Love it all. So nice to see old favorite in your winter garden is the Chiomanthus. The Yuletide is close, loved those in my northern garden. well, northern from here!

  8. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, I remember those first four Hamamelis, although not ‘Marmalade’. We grew Hamamelis in the 1990s, but discontinued them because they were unpopular. People here do not know what they are. We did not grow ‘Vesna’, but I think that it might be one of the few that is, on rare occasion, available in retail nurseries. I sometimes what to purchase one or more because they stay in the nurseries for so long, and some eventually go to the discount coral.

    • Chloris says:

      Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are fabulous. Maybe they are not so popular over there because people associate Witch hazels with your native Hamamelis virginiana which is not so impressive.

      • tonytomeo says:

        The native witch hazel is not native here. Before I got some for my own garden, I had never seen it before. I suspect that Hamamelis are unpopular because no one expects to see them in California. Those who are familiar with them from colder climates prefer their plants to be evergreen here. Those who have always gardened in mild climates are unfamiliar with them. You know, there are a few trees that provide nice autumn color here, but they are uncommonly exploited. People expect palm trees in California.

  9. Cathy says:

    Your winter garden must be a place of real wonder now, Chloris, with new discoveries to be made everyday – thank you for giving us a glimpse of some of them. I really must see if I can squeeze a Chomonanthus in somewhere – and I am sure there is room for H Leona…!

    • Chloris says:

      Well, yours is a lovely winter garden Cathy with all your magical Witch Hazels and snowdrops. Chimonanthus is boring in summer but it is fabulous for picking in winter, the scent fills the room.

      • Cathy says:

        My witch hazels really are glorious this year, Chloris, and definitely worth the expenditure (well, I do sometimes wonder if I went a bit OTT with two of them…!). Beni is looking close to opening now. How tall does your Chimonanthus grow? Perhaps I could hide its boring summer guise by planting one in the woodland edge border…

  10. Pauline says:

    What a wonderful place your winter garden must be, I would be snaking a peek before Christmas though! Your Witch Hazels are amazing, so much lovely colour.

    • Chloris says:

      You have lots of winter interest too Pauline, I always enjoy seeing what you have in bloom in your January garden. I wish we lived near enough to visit each other’s winter gardens and croon over our snowdrops.

  11. Noelle says:

    You probably have lots of other parts of the garden to look at, to wait so long to catch the first flowers in your Spring garden. You have a lovely Six for us this week. Leona is such a rich deep colour: a real treat. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I have nice things for winter all over, but my winter garden is designed just for winter and spring. It is out of sight of the house so you have to make a special journey.

  12. The witch hazels are so lovely.

  13. snowbird says:

    Oh, your winter garden is gorgeous! How you retrain yourself from visiting until now I’ll never know!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, it is lovely and you get much more of an impact if you wait until everything is looking good. I would probably have been down there earlier buf I have torn the ligament in my knee so walking is really painful. Fortunately, I can still ride my bike so we have been out and about enjoying the winter sunshine.

  14. Witch hazels are really special aren’t they? And you have quite a few plants blooming. January is a lovely time in your garden. Enjoy! And thanks for sharing!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I adore winter flowers and many of them are fragrant. Witch hazels are quite magical. It’s funny, they don’t smell in the garden but if you pick a few sprigs for the house the scent is fabulous.

  15. What beautiful witch hazels – I keep promising myself to get more (I only have the native species here) and you may just have inspired me! I love the combination of ‘Jelena’ with Cornus ‘Winter Fire’ – what a wonderful winter combination!

    • Chloris says:

      Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are all fabulous with large fragrant flowers and often autumn foliage colour too. Jelena is a particularly lovely variety.

  16. bittster says:

    The witch hazels are fantastic, and I envy each and every fragrant flower which graces your winter garden. Your restraint is admirable to stay out until January. I’m one who pokes and prods and no sprout can remain undiscovered for too long nor can I resist taking a peek, even if it is yet a few weeks early. I can’t wait to see the rest of your winter garden.

    • Chloris says:

      It’s amazing how many winter blooms are fragrant which makes the winter garden extra special. Bulbs poking up are a new year’s treat, they don’t seem to belong to Xmas, although I do enjoy my Xmas-blooming snowdrops.

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