The vernal witch hazel just happened to be my choice for Plant of the Month in January 2008 as well. I can't help it, this just seems to be the ONLY plant blooming in my Zone 6/7 garden right now, but that is okay. Hey-blooms in January for me! Fragrant ones too! All of you who grow the witch hazels will understand my excitement. Now there are different varieties of witch hazels and not all bloom in the winter. Some are fall bloomers and some are spring bloomers. This particular one is definitely a winter bloomer. I am not normally a real good planner of specific cultivars for my garden, but I can honestly say I planned this one by researching just the right type and specifically purchasing it at a native nursery in North Carolina. For more information on this nursery and this witch hazel, do see my first post on them.
My last witch hazel is the straight species (at least that is what I think as I lost track of the information a long time ago). I am pretty sure it is Hamemelis virginiana or Common Witch Hazel. When I purchased the vernal and virginiana witch hazels at We-Du Natives I specifically looked for these straight types and was not all that interested in the hybrids. These first two were planted in the summer of 2006 and I can honestly say I've been happy with them. The virginiana did suffer more from droughts than the vernal did, but as you can see, it is still just fine. It usually flowers in the fall after most of the leaves have fallen off. This year was NOT a good year for the bloom, but it is still new in its location so we shall see what it does this year.
Because it is winter and I am in a picture taking mood, here are some just for fun pictures of color in the winter garden. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) is on the left, and beautyberries (Callicarpa americana), on the right.
I really like both of the plants pictured above with the nandinas being my favorite. I think the beautyberries truly add a lot of color, but it is that awful magenta color! It is not my favorite color in the garden at all. Too bad these aren't blooms as they would be good candidates for Plant of the Month!
Okay, back to the inside plant and my choice for an Honorable Mention. I am kind of old fashioned and think there can really only be one Plant of the Month, so this begonia will have to settle with Honorable Mention. It has been blooming non-stop since I moved it into my craft room back in October. I love the fresh flowers greeting me each day and can't get over its tenacity with its lovely blooms. It is not an angel wing begonia and I am not sure of the variety. I purchased three of these on the discount rack at Wal-Mart. All three are different colors with this color being the only one that is non-stop blooming in the house. It looks like a rose to me. As much as I dislike houseplants this one has won my heart.
Houseplants are wonderful plants for color this time of year and I hope you have a few in your home so you too can enjoy the blooms.
By the time February rolls around, surely there will be some blooming plants outside? Last February I chose hellebores, so let's see if that will hold true again this year. As good as the hellebores look right now I think they are on track to take the coveted title of Plant of the Month again for February. We shall see. What great plants do you have growing and blooming in your garden right now that you would qualify as a superstar? I'd love to hear of them. I realize not everyone who reads this blog is in my zone. There will be a wide variety of choices from all over the world, no doubt about it. I am actually interested in them all. Especially if I can grow them too:)
in the garden....