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Friday Favorite: Botanical Gardens in Winter

March 15th, 2013

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I headed down to Boothbay for an errand.  Since we were in the area, we decided to stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.   I really enjoy visiting botanical gardens during the winter, it’s the perfect time to notice the structure of the gardens and the plants.  You notice interesting things you might not see at other times when you’re distracted by flowers and other things.
Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
I was particularly interested in seeing the witch hazels.  I’m planning on adding them to the gardens for color at this time of year and I was looking for varieties that would suite my climate.  Luckily, they had a nice selection.   Back in Ohio, we had native wild witch hazel that bloomed in November, they were pretty and understated, nothing compared to these showy beauties. ‘Arnold Promise’ looks almost like a forsythia, only it blooms much earlier.
Witch Hazel Arnold Promise 1
Witch Hazel Arnold Promise 2
There’s something so wonderful about a plant that produces blooms like this in a season like this.  When everything around is dull, muddy and gray, the bright pop of yellow is eye catching to say the least. This is ‘Aurora’ with hazel, it’s quite lovely don’t you think?
Witch Hazel Aurora 1
Witch Hazel Aurora 2
‘Limelight’ witch hazel has smaller, less showy flowers and had a slight greenish tint. The green was immediately noticeable with the other with hazels blooming in the area. You might not notice this if it was the only one in your garden.
Witch Hazel Limelight 1
Witch Hazel Limelight 2
‘Bernstein’ witch hazel was especially lovely, I think it was more wonderful than all the others. The blossoms were large and lovely, though there weren’t too many.
Witch Hazel Bernstein 2
Witch Hazel Bernstein 3
Witch Hazel Bernstein 1
I’ll definitely be adding a few of these to my garden this year, now I just have to decide where to put them.

Do ever visit botanical gardens in the off season? 


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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.