Garden Tip 112:


Temperatures in March and early April can be a roller coaster. A typical day can run from 30 degrees in the morning to 50 degrees in the afternoon. On other days it can be a struggle to reach 40 degrees and we wonder if spring is actually here! I have a couple of early bloomers in my garden that assure me that spring is in the air even on a cold and blustery day.

Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’, witch hazel, has been in bloom since mid-February and will last into early April. This multi stem shrub has a flower that is yellow at the tip, orange in the middle, and maroon at the base. The flower is slightly scented, and the foliage of this plant has excellent fall color.

Just as the witch hazel is passing its peak of bloom, Cornus mas, the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood explodes into bright yellow flower. It has a growth habit much like that of the witch hazel, and both shrubs flower before the leaves emerge. Small black fruit develop on the Cornus during the summer that turn a brilliant red in the fall. These two shrubs herald the arrival of spring despite the vagaries of the weather.