Plant Partners: Witch Hazel, Hellebores & Dogwood | PITH + VIGOR by Rochelle Greayer

Rochelle Greayer

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Plant Partners: Witch Hazel, Hellebores & Dogwood

Plant partners for witch hazel. Hellebores and Cornus.

Noticing yesterday that the tips of daffodils and spring bulbs are just beginning to poke through the ground, the branches of the willows have yellowed and the forsythia stems have swollen. Tts obvious that the fresh yellows of spring are on their way.  But a lesser known and even earlier spring harbinger is the Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) which, in addition to reds and oranges is available in a range of beautiful yellows.

This plant pairing is perfect for late winter or very early spring and it will bring color to your garden when you most wish for it.  That is when the end of winter just can’t come soon enough.

Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) + Hellebore + Cornus

hamamelis_intermedia pallida


My favorite witch hazel is Hamamelis intermedia ‘pallida’. It is among the palest and it’s color reminds me of freshly churned butter.  The center of the flower is a deep burgundy and it would be a beautiful compliment to the interestingly uncommon Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’ (available from Grobes Nursery).


On the other end of the yellow spectrum is the almost orange Hamamelis ‘Harry’. I think this would have an excellent companion in Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter fire’.  The stems fade from red to yellow and when planted in a clump they make a striking impact.  Combine with a few Hamamelis ‘Harry’ scattered about for something surprising and exciting at this time of year.

Hamamelis harry

cornus sanguinea midwinter fire

Fairweather gardens has a huge selection of Hamamelis  in the full red- orange-yellow color spectrum you are sure to find just the right shade.

image: the mixed border, from Grobes Nursery, from fairweather gardens and from crocus.

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plant partners for late winter interest in the garden
Plant partners for witch hazel. Hellebores and Cornus.

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  1. Gwen Erskine says:

    Great plant combination ideas. Perfect to extend the fiery display around my maple tree. I have a couple arctic fire dogwoods but I am smitten witht the midwinter fire after seeing at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. The placement there is very dramatic. Any idea who sells the Midwinter Fire here in the states?

    • Rochelle says:

      Gwen – It looks like Rare Find Nursery has sold it in the past … (perhaps out of season now). Also – I find that If I ask for something, better nurseries will often find it for me.

  2. Gwen Erskine says:

    Thank you, I will look here. I just have to keep looking ’til it’s the right season! I will ask my local nursery too.(Weston Nursery in Hopkinton, MA). Love your posts by the way, your platform provide lots of great inspiration! Got hooked when your house tour was on DesignMom.

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