Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Witch hazel (Hamamelis) FRA­GRANT, spi­dery blooms in shades of yel­low, or­ange and red make th­ese medi­um­sized to large de­cid­u­ous shrubs a must-have for the win­ter gar­den.

The eye-catch­ing flow­ers, with rib­bon­like petals, clus­ter on bare stems from au­tumn to early spring, un­dam­aged by frost.

They are great as spec­i­men plants in bor­der or grown in groups. Witch hazels pre­fer rea­son­ably fer­tile, moist but well-drained, neu­tral to acid soil, in sun or par­tial shade in an open spot. In late win­ter or early spring, prune any cross­ing shoots to keep a good shape. Good va­ri­eties in­clude H x in­terme­dia ‘Pal­l­ida’, which as a vase-shaped habit and whose bright green leaves turn gold in au­tumn, and H x in­terme­dia ‘Diana’, a fine red-flow­ered va­ri­ety.

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