Winter hazel

Unfortunately, there is but one lonely bloom on the yellow leafed winter hazel (Corylopsis spicata ‘Ogon’), further evidence of my too often faulty judgment shoehorning plants into spaces with less than ideal conditions. In this instance, I shall claim that options were limited. The hazel was struggling in damp ground, and this space facing west seemed the best available for its transplanting, though all but the late afternoon sun was excluded by an overhanging kousa dogwood. The resulting single flower is clear evidence that this sunlight is insufficient.

While finding another, sunnier spot is a slim possibility, I will also consider removing a few lower branches of the dogwood. There are several that hang low over the winter hazel, and perhaps a further disturbance, digging the shrub a second time, might not be necessary.

Finding ideal settings for plantings in a new garden is so much easier, though messy details such as design must be considered. In this thirty-three year old garden placement is more practical. Where will it fit? And sometimes judgments must be made, and perhaps a barely sunny position seems much brighter when options are limited.

This is further complicated by the adaptability of so many plants that thrive in less than ideal circumstances. The longtime gardener has experienced so many plants that flourish despite his careless positioning that he hardly considers the possibility of failure. Here, survival is not in question, but the lack of blooms requires action.

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