Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire


Wishful thinking perhaps whilst the winter continues mostly dull and wet, and it is only January, but when the sun does peep through the clouds, everything seems to be taking on decidedly spring-like hues.  The weather is mostly mild, the birds seem unusually busy and vocal, and some of our plants are making us think that spring is just around the corner.

We left a few of the plants in our car park hedge to grow into trees, and one, a hazel, seems to be having its mast year a season after all our other trees and shrubs.

Catkins against a fiield of winter wheat


Last autumn the oak trees were weighed down with acorns, this year it looks as if the hazel is going to be similarly encumbered.  We only get occaisional squirrel visitors here, but if any pop by this autumn, they’re going to have a ball.

Hazel catkins against a clear blue sky

The nuts from the native Hazel, Corylus avellana, are considerably smaller than those from cultivars bred for nut production, but there’s still got to be a nut roast or two here hasn’t there?

Catkins in close up against a very deep blue skiy

Not a cloud (or a con-trail) to spoil the view

Meanwhile, in the garden, reliable as ever, the hamamellis are doing their thing.

Hamemellis Jelena illuminated by low winter sun

Early morning sunshine illuminates Hamamellis Jelena

The team here at Barlow is split on the merits of Hamamellis – 50% of us think it’s lovely, while the other half think it’s unremarkable, over hyped,  and not worth the border space. What do you think?

Hamamellis pallida

Unusually this year, Hamamellis pallida is flowering at the same time as H. Jelena

Hamamellis pallida

What’s not to like?

Hamamellis Jelena

Hamamellis jelena – as delightful in close up as from afar

Hamamellis Jelena

Very slow growing, and consequently never bargain basement plants, but surely  worth every penny??

The sad truth is that for maybe 50 weeks of the year Hamamellis are completely unremarkable; but for the couple of weeks when they’re doing their thing, they’re pretty damn good aren’t they?

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