I have been whining and lamenting all over the blogosphere about my lack of witch hazel blooms. Time after time, I see yellows, reds, oranges, and even yellow AND orange together in beautiful photos on other blogs. Some are in the same zone I am, so why don't I have blooms?
I bought a witch hazel last summer and though I really wanted a Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' or 'Jelena' (any of the redder ones), I couldn't find them and settled for a common yellow one (Hamamelis vernalis). It was nicely shaped and a bargain I couldn't pass up.
It was beautiful last fall when its leaves turned a gorgeous golden yellow color and I looked forward to seeing winter blooms. Witch hazel is completely new to me - mine is the very first one I've ever seen in person. Can you believe that? They're even native here!
When I started seeing blooming witch hazel photos popping up on other blogs about a month ago, I made the cold trek out to the back of the property and inspected ours. Nope. No sign of blooms. There were several larger brown things attached to a few branches, which appeared to be shells of previous blooms, but nothing except teeny tiny round leaf buds all over the shrub.
Today was a gorgeous late winter day. No sun, but the temperature reached 55° and snow was melting fast. The ground even had a little "squish" to it when you walked on it. I took a look around the yard and in the gardens and was happy to see swollen buds on all the lilacs and the new viburnum that I thought I'd killed by letting it get too dry after planting last fall had buds on it, too.
I thought I might as well have another look at the witch hazel, and hmmmm... It looked a bit different than it did before. I saw leaf buds on the ends of the branches - some even looked like they were actually leafing out - but those clusters of little round balls hanging all over it were much bigger than the last time I checked. Could they be flower buds?
Logic tells me that they are, but I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed. So you tell me! (Keeping fingers crossed.)