Finding the Fruits of Winter in the Witt Winter Garden

February 10, 2016

Witch hazel

Witch hazel

“But the winter was not given to us for no purpose.  We must thaw its cold with our genialness.  We are tasked to find out and appropriate all the nutriment it yields.  If it is a cold and hard season, its fruit, no doubt, is the more concentrated and nutty. . . ”
— Henry David Thoreau, Journal

The sun was shining — a rare occurrence this winter season — and I was moved to go outside for a walk.  In the spirit of adventure, I made my first visit to the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden at Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum.  What a delight to see things blooming in this seasonal garden, proving that even winter yields its fruits.

Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum

Orange beauty witch hazel

Orange beauty witch hazel

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Ruby glow witch hazel

Ruby glow witch hazel

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Cyclamen patch

Cyclamen patch

Hellebores

Hellebores

Snowdrops, Washington Park Arboretum

Snowdrops, Washington Park Arboretum

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

4 Responses to “Finding the Fruits of Winter in the Witt Winter Garden”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    Are those cultivars of witch hazel? I finally found some of ours that’s a native, this year, but I got there late and found only a few strands. Still, it was there, and so was I, so that was good enough. But it never had occurred to me that there could be different witch hazel species, or even cultivars.

    I think it’s going to be an early spring here this year, and the wildflower hunting I’d planned for March had better start this month, or my photo ops are going to disappear. I’ve missed the early spring flowers two years in a row — your photos are a good reminder not to let that happen for a third!

  2. E. Bancroft Says:

    I look forward to February each year to inhale the sweet perfume of the witch hazel on my morning walks and was surprised to see — and smell — the first ones in December this winter! Most are still in bloom now and I am always pleasantly surprised that their perfume is only perceptible either 10 steps before or after I reach the actual spot where the tree might be. It’s like a game to spot the moment when I can actually smell it and then I inhale oh so deeply….


  3. The purple flowers are particularly beautiful.


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