February 15th, 2023
We have two charming little witch hazel trees (hamamelis) in our garden, only planted last year, but they seem very happy. As I write this, they are in full flower, the bare branches absolutely covered in the bright yellow spidery flowers with their delicate scent. Brave pioneering honey bees are already busy in the flowers, a lovely sight and sound in drear February.
When we lived in Bampton in Cumbria, we had a chap called Arnold who used to help in the garden. He was always full of dire warnings about late frosts, great summer storms, more frosts coming as early as September and Lord only knows what disasters over Winter.
Arnold’s catchphrase was ‘Well, Jeannie, what with one thing and another’ followed by whatever pessimistic prediction he had up his sleeve that day.
Arnold was convinced that hamamelis would not grow in our garden, nor anywhere in the Bampton valley. Not really to spite him, but of course keen to prove him wrong, we bought two young trees, amusingly a variety called ‘Arnold’s Promise’ and lo and behold, they flourished!
We’re so glad that the two trees planted here in our Lyddington garden are proving Arnold just as wrong as their Cumbrian cousins did.