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Native Witch Hazel

November 30th, 2009

The native witch hazel has been blooming for a while. It blooms much earlier and is less showy than it’s cultivated cousins. These photos were taken about a month ago.
Witch hazel is an understory tree, so it thrives in the woods or along the edges of the woods. It prefers the cool shady areas and with too much sun it will produce fewer blooms. These trees are located in the woods to side of our gardens. What a great plant it is since it blooms at this weird time. When the rest of the natural world is preparing for winter it bursts forth in radiant blooms, which will last into December.
Hamamelis virginiana was one of the first New World plants to be adopted for ornamental use by European horticulturists. As early as the mid-17th century, the plant was growing in private botanical collections in London. And it’s been a perennial favorite ever since. Witch-hazel has a rich history of use outside the garden setting. Traditionally, branches of H. virginiana were used as “divining rods” to locate underground sources of water. Also, extracts from the leaves, twigs, and bark were used to reduce inflammation, stop bleeding, and check secretions of the mucous membranes.
Since witch hazel usually blooms after most of the pollinators are gone, it doesn’t often produce seed. I think with the warm weather we’ve had this year, I may be able to find some seeds next year to plant along the edges of our woods.

What native shrubs or trees do you love?

Plant Spotlight: Mediterranean Pink Heather

March 11th, 2009

I have a few Mediterranean Pink Heather plants on my front hillside rock garden. The thing I love most about these carefree plants are the fact that they’re the first thing to bloom every year. They are blooming profusely right now. I do love this plant, it’s really nice to see something colorful in the garden right now.
Plant Strengths: Sun loving drought tolerant plant; Scented blossom; Attracts wildlife to feed or nest; All round tough plant suitable for problem areas; Provides valuable winter interest; Evergreen foliage for all year round color and screening; Suitable for container growing; Suitable for exposed coastal planting; Attractive form or foliage for all year interest; Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils; Tolerates cold exposed locations.

Is anything blooming in your gardens right now?

New Plants

June 25th, 2008

I planted 3 new plants today. All three of them are from Stepables. They have such great little plants! I have a few more varieties to plant, but I’ll just post the three I planted today. They are all chartreuse low-growing plants that are great for brightening up dark spots in your garden!

This Scotch moss has tiny white flower blooms (I’ll post one of those later). I planted this in an old birdbath and has a hole in it.

Here’s the information for Scotch Moss.

This small speedwell was planted at the base of the birdbath to brighten a little spot there.

Here’s the information for Golden Creeping Speedwell.

I also planted some Golden Creeping Jenny. I have heard it is invasive, but I planted it where I would love for it to take over, let’s hope it is!

Here’s the information for Creeping Jenny.

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.