Hamamelis mollis (witch hazel)
Plant of the month: January
Hamamelis mollis can be used to good effect to enliven a garden during the winter months. In early January the curled, strap-shaped petals gently unfurl and the resulting spider-shaped, yellow flowers borne on bare branches fill the cold air with a beautiful scent. Why not plant a witch hazel in your garden? That way you can cut the flowering twigs to perfume indoor rooms in winter! Witch hazels make good specimen plants and are also effective in a woodland edge, a winter border or alongside a path, where their fragrance can be appreciated. They are fairly slow growing shrubs which will thrive in moderately fertile, well drained soil and can be planted in full sun or partial shade in a site that is open but not exposed.