What a treat in the middle of winter! The flowering of the witch-hazels always catches me by surprise. Yes, I know from long experience that they bloom in the winter. But really severe conditions will delay the flowering, and I've never been sure just what combination of conditions allows them to bloom. This winter, another of our recent mild winters, has had its mild and its bitter times, enough cold to shut down the snowdrops for a while. A haze of red out over the pergola caught my eye the other day, and sure enough Hamamelis 'Feuerzauber' was in full bloom. Yesterday I got out into the garden to do some close-up checking, and found 'Jelena' also in full bloom. 'Diane' is also blooming. That's 'Jelena' in the image above.
Nothing lights up the winter garden the way a witch-hazel in full bloom does.