Tag Archives: witch hazel
In DC for a meeting, I had to chance to make a quick trip to the US Botanic Garden today, which is just a stone’s throw from the US Capitol. Thinking I’d squeeze a penny, I took the metro from Dupont Circle to Union Station, with plans to walk the final handful of blocks to the garden. As I approached Capitol Hill, however, I found First Street SW barricaded for a motorcade, with President Obama in route for a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus.
I quickly found an advantageous spot near a policeman with a radio and within a few minutes heard the announcement of the President’s White House departure at precisely at 13:30. It took less than four minutes for the motorcade to come into view with a half dozen motorcycles leading the way. After snapping a few photos, I had a quick glimpse of President Obama in the second of the two identical limousines as the group of cars and SUVs sped past.
With the excitement over and security relaxed, I quick-footed it over to the garden before traffic could swamp the streets once again.
Located between First and Third Streets SW at Independence Avenue SW, the garden includes a conservatory and two outdoor spaces: National Garden and Bartholdi Park. The park has always been a particular favorite of mine, so I headed there first.
Bartholdi Park is named for the French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, best known for creating the Statue of Liberty. The garden contains an enormous cast iron fountain made by Bartholdi in 1876. The landscape, redesigned in the last decade and continually updated with newly introduced plants, serves as a demonstration garden. There was much to catch my eye, the most spectacular being a Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Barmstedt Gold’ in full bloom with the largest flowers I’ve seen on a witch hazel.
A quick loop through the conservatory provided its usual pleasures. I’m not a huge fan of tropical plants, not even orchids unless I’m growing them at home, but the World Deserts display is always of interest to me. Today’s special treat was a flowering Cleistocactus winteri, a species native to Bolivia.
A speedy stroll through National Garden put me within a few blocks of another favorite destination, so I headed up the National Mall towards the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, a pocket garden squeezed into a narrow walk-through space just east of the Arts and Industries Building. There, I discovered my final reward for my DC walkabout, Hamamelis x intermdia ‘Arnold’s Promise’, a fragrant and shapely example that was as appealing to the nose as it was to the eyes.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day—February 15, 2013
I saw my first (and probably only) snowflakes this winter on Saturday, February 2, but the precipitation turned to rain within the hour. The Upstate has had plenty of gray days and moisture since January’s Bloom Day posting, with temperatures fluctuating from the 20s into the 70s. I’ve heard, but haven’t been able to confirm, our most recent cold weather destroyed much of this year’s peach crop. Fingers crossed the sad news isn’t true. More cold is on the way this weekend, however, as Saturday’s forcast predicts a low of 24 degrees F.
Even still, there are blooms in the garden. The vignette below is inspired by Ellen HoverKamp‘s stunning botanical photgraphs in Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations by Ken Druse, a favorite Christmas gift I simply can’t put down.
Flowers include several Camellia japonica (top) and various Helleborus hybrids (bottom). The rosette of yellow near the center of the photo is Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese paper bush), and the yellow fringe at the bottom is Hamamelis mollis ‘Wisley Supreme’ (witch hazel). The pansy is ‘Dynamite Wine Flash’, while the smaller viola is ‘Sorbet Antique Shades.’ The early yellow daffodils draw attention to the ‘Gold Dust’ Aucuba japonica (aucuba), and the slightly smaller leaves of variegated Gardenia jasminoides (gardenia). The red-veined foliage is Rumex sanguineus (bloody dock), and the silver-veined is Saxifraga stolonifera (strawberry begonia).
Even better, here’s what’s blooming or almost blooming in the woodland.
To discover what’s blooming in gardens around the world, visit the host of Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day—January 15, 2013
Today is my first post for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and I’m excited to join a group of plant enthusiasts who share the excitement of what’s flowering in their gardens on the 15th day of each month.
After a cold start to 2013 in the Upstate, with nights dropping into the 20s, January has flip-flopped to provide a week of spring-like conditions with lots of rain and daytime temperatures reaching into the 60s and even 70s. The recent unseasonable weather, coupled with a milder-than-usual winter, has provoked many plants into early bloom.
I find the camellias, which predate me in this garden, to be especially cheerful this year. I’m only sorry I can’t provide their names.
The garden is sweetly scented thanks to this trio of fragrant woody plants.
And wouldn’t winter be lackluster without these seasonal favorites?
If you’d like to see what’s flowering today in other gardens, visit the site where Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day began—May Dreams Gardens.