My dog Bridget would rather curl up on the couch than go outdoors on these wet and windy days. After last week's freezing temperatures, and this week's record rainfalls, you wouldn't expect our plants to be showing much more enthusiasm than Bridget.
But when I ducked out yesterday between rainstorms to sweep up and look for something to cut for a bouquet, I was amazed to find my copper-colored witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena') in full bloom - I'd expected it to be slowed down by those mid-20 temps a week ago. And while the hybrid hellebores are still in tight bud, the silver-leafed Corsican hellebore is opening its pretty litte green flowers....
This time of year you have to look closely to find what's in bloom but it's worth it - the garden is in full January flower, with more hellebores, snowdrops, sarcococca and even daphne not far behind. The lure of flowers fresh from the garden, so prized on a winter's day, won't get Bridget off the couch, but hopefully it'll stir you to go outdoors and find out what's going on in your garden.
'Jelena' is a cross with a Chinese witch hazel parent, which means it has a strong sweet/astringent scent, especially when cut and brought into a warm room.
Helleborus argutifolius 'Silver Lace', with soft green blossoms centered in chartreuse stamen, is an early bloomer with jagged, silvery green leaves.