We went to the Connecticut Garden & Flower Show yesterday. At the Hort Society exhibit I saw a lovely witch hazel 'Diane' in bloom.
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' blooms a deep brick red, offset nicely with evergreens in the background and a wine red painted fence. In open sunlight the color is clearer and brighter red, but in the terrible indoor lighting at the Convention Center it was darker and rustier.
But so lovely.
Of course they force all the plants on exhibit at winter shows like this, but seeing it made me want to check out my witch hazels, which should be blooming now, in late winter on a warmish day.
So I went outside, excited to see and perhaps smell the blooms on my witch hazel 'Diane'.
I was immediately daunted by the giant snowbank piled up in front of both the witch hazels -- 'Diane' and a spring blooming Hamamelis vernalis next to it. The wall of snow was high and I couldn't get past it to go look at the tiny flowers.
And where were they anyway? The brown leaves are still hanging on to both of these witch hazels, obscuring any blooms. It's ugly.
The only way I could get close enough to see any flowers was to stand on the driveway and use the zoom on the camera lens. Yep, there are flowers, kind of. Buds, at least.
So I gave up on the witch hazels and decided to start the project I mentioned of sanding and painting the rusted black trough planters. I brought them inside, put them on a tarp in the basement and was immediately daunted by the task of dumping out soil and cleaning them.
Without a hose or faucet there is no way to wash them out. The compost pile isn't reachable, so the soil will have to sit on the tarp. I went out to the back porch to see if I could find empty containers to repot what is in the planters now, but the pots are stacked on the patio by the potting bench, under snow.
I was daunted even getting out the back door. It won't open, there is too much snow on the deck.
So that project will have to wait til spring, like everything else.
I ended up on the couch looking at Pinterest pictures.
There are so many pins of witch hazel 'Diane' in people's gardens, looking gloriously coppery red, and blooming without any persistent brown foliage hiding everything . . . sigh.