Thursday, January 5, 2023

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas

I was gifted a beautiful witch hazel for my birthday several years ago.  I put it in a spot that I thought it would like and that it would add some color and dimension to the area. I was so excited about a super early blooming shrub for the bees...and two years in a row it got "pruned" by some naughty sheep :-/.

I finally got it secured effectively and it's alive and well and bloomed nicely last winter/early spring, but unless I remembered to walk over there to see it (which really shouldn't be that hard), I missed watching it.  The blooms are fun and I knew the bees would be happy to see them.

I toyed with moving it to a closer location, but decided it had be tortured enough so I headed to the nursery and bought a second witch hazel.  This one a native variety that would bloom in the early winter.  Tim "pruned" it with the hedge trimmers :-/.

Two good branches remained and even though it was just in it's first year here, they budded up and were just starting to open when the super cold hit.  I wasn't worried about the plant surviving, but I'd been so excited watching the blooms starting to pop out that I decided to try to save them in hopes they'd continue to bloom after the freeze.

I put a fence around it and filled it with straw and then added a clear plastic wool bag over the top.  I secured the bag with two heavy clamps and could not believe it rode out the crazy winds.  Once the cold broke I uncovered it, thought it looked not too bad and crossed my fingers.

It took several days to wake back up, but as the forecast ran into the 60s I was hopeful.  It's blooming!

I remember as I was planting it thinking what on earth would still be out and about to take advantage of it in December.  Bees don't fly at temps under 50 degrees.  December and January are usually below 50.  Not normally below 0...but let's not think about that.

As I was taking pictures, a hint of movement caught my eye.  A honey bee!  I thought just the honey bee, but when I downloaded the pictures I see a smaller wild bee in there as well.

Against all the odds, this tough little plant DID get to host a bee party this winter.  And I'm enjoying walking past it as I go back and forth to the barn.  But I will also be excited to walk over to the far side of the yard to hopefully see more partying bees in February :-).

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For anyone interested in Roc Day or Saint Distaff's Day, I will be posting more about that tomorrow.  I wanted to get these pictures before they got buried in my photo files.  More blogging in 2023!


Terry and Linda said...

That was interesting. I wonder if we have native witch hazels here

Shirley said...

I had no idea witch hazel was a cold weather blooming plant!

Anonymous said...

So interesting. I knew nothing of this plant. Gives me ideas.KLittrell


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