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Friday Favorite: Botanical Gardens in Winter

March 15th, 2013

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I headed down to Boothbay for an errand.  Since we were in the area, we decided to stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.   I really enjoy visiting botanical gardens during the winter, it’s the perfect time to notice the structure of the gardens and the plants.  You notice interesting things you might not see at other times when you’re distracted by flowers and other things.
Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
I was particularly interested in seeing the witch hazels.  I’m planning on adding them to the gardens for color at this time of year and I was looking for varieties that would suite my climate.  Luckily, they had a nice selection.   Back in Ohio, we had native wild witch hazel that bloomed in November, they were pretty and understated, nothing compared to these showy beauties. ‘Arnold Promise’ looks almost like a forsythia, only it blooms much earlier.
Witch Hazel Arnold Promise 1
Witch Hazel Arnold Promise 2
There’s something so wonderful about a plant that produces blooms like this in a season like this.  When everything around is dull, muddy and gray, the bright pop of yellow is eye catching to say the least. This is ‘Aurora’ with hazel, it’s quite lovely don’t you think?
Witch Hazel Aurora 1
Witch Hazel Aurora 2
‘Limelight’ witch hazel has smaller, less showy flowers and had a slight greenish tint. The green was immediately noticeable with the other with hazels blooming in the area. You might not notice this if it was the only one in your garden.
Witch Hazel Limelight 1
Witch Hazel Limelight 2
‘Bernstein’ witch hazel was especially lovely, I think it was more wonderful than all the others. The blossoms were large and lovely, though there weren’t too many.
Witch Hazel Bernstein 2
Witch Hazel Bernstein 3
Witch Hazel Bernstein 1
I’ll definitely be adding a few of these to my garden this year, now I just have to decide where to put them.

Do ever visit botanical gardens in the off season? 


7 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Botanical Gardens in Winter”
  1. daisy on March 15, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Is this the same witch hazel used as a toiletry item? If so, do you know how to process it?

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Jennifer Fisk on March 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

    There is Witch Hazel growing wild in Acadia National Park.
    I’ve only been to the Botanical Garden in Boothbay in the spring. I know, I’m missing out on a lot.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  3. Adriana on March 15, 2013 at 7:23 am

    We went to the Montreal Botanical Gardens a couple of weeks ago. It’s only a couple of hours from our home in VT. We didn’t really walk around outside, there were FEET of snow on the ground, but the greenhouses were lovely and a nice warm, humid break from the chilly winter.

    Reply to Adriana's comment

  4. KimH on March 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I have out at Holden Arboretum but I havent anywhere else unless I was in South Texas but thats a different ball game..

    Those witch hazels are gorgeous.. I just may have to find one or two of those varieties and add them to my landscape here somehow.. Im getting good at tucking things in here & there.. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  5. Donna B. on March 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Sadly I do not… but I’m making more of an effort to do so this year!

    Unfortunately most of them aren’t very close to me, but I have been to the New Jersey Botanical Gardens [2 hours drive] and it’s quite fantastic! I went in late fall last year… I was far more interested in the alpine gardens & wildflower gardens than the more popular annual areas… hehe.
    [And the statues… Beautiful beautiful statues!]

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  6. EL on March 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Supposedly witch hazels smell nice (some gardening books suggest planting them next to a walkway so that you can enjoy this despite snow.
    Did you notice their scent? Which of the varieties had the strongest scent? Which one did you like best for their scent?

    Reply to EL's comment

    • Susy on March 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      I didn’t notice a scent, it was pretty cold though, so my nose was running from that.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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