Winter Orange


Went in search of some Winter colour today, as the skies have been mid to deep grey since New Year’s Day, and found it at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, Hampshire, England.

This is a wonderful vibrant orange Witch Hazel bloom (Hamamelis). Witch hazels are such beautiful bright Winter flowering plants and I saw a variety of red, yellow and orange varieties sited in the ‘Winter Wonderland Gardens’. I feel quite cheered at the sight!

Witch hazel is, of course, very good for the skin, and I remember applying it regularly as a teenager for clear grease-free skin!

Edit 7th Jan.

I’ve been doing a bit more research into Witch hazels and discovered that the gardens I visited hold one of the three National Collections of them. Also, a famous 20th Century gardener: E A Bowles named it an Epiphany tree due to it being in flower on the 6th January. There are a few different varieties including Japanese (H. Japonica) and Chinese (H. Mollis) varieties and a US one (H. Virginiana) which flowers in Autumn rather than Winter. Expensive hybrids – H. intermedia – are available and are hybrids of the Japanese and Chinese varieties.

Note that information differs in a couple of these links with regard to the hybrids. I got my information about the hybrids from a plant database which is probably more reliable. I can’t show the results page as it is a pop-up window but a search for Witch hazel will bring up all the varieties.


28 thoughts on “Winter Orange

    1. I was on the verge of ecstatic at finding such vibrant colour. The Winter gardens at Harold Hillier’s are beautifully designed. At every turn, there is spectacular colour. The Witch hazels, Cornus stems and colourful Acers were amongst some pretty amazing plants.


  1. Superb compositions. Totally changes my view of Witch Hazel. my childhood recollections of the term derive from a Bugs Bunny cartoon and Wendy the Good Little Witch & Casper. 😀


    1. Thank you, Elmediat! It’s one of those names of plants which we grow up with but whose form we aren’t aware of. I only discovered last year what the flowers of this wonderful plant look like. I had no idea when I used to apply the sweet-smelling lotion to my face many moons ago 🙂


    1. Thank you, Elisa! Yes – it seems that all varieties of Witch hazel bloom the same and they all flower during mid to late Winter except for the Virginiana species which flowers in Autumn. I’m about to edit the text above to include more links to info.


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