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Witch Hazels

By Chris Lane

The witch hazel bible, complete with color photographs.

Anne Raver, New York Times

Once discovered, witch hazels capture the hearts of gardeners who rank them among the best of all winter-flowering shrubs. Shrugging off several degrees of frost and a heavy weight of snow, their distinctive flowers held on bare branches cannot fail to light up a garden in the depths of winter. Yet, despite their attributes, only a small number are widely grown outside the gardens of enthusiasts. This book promises to change all that by turning the spotlight on these magical shrubs, highlighting their diversity and providing practical, comparative information that will thrill enthusiast and newcomer alike. The book starts with an introduction to the genus followed by detailed descriptions of the four species and their hybrids. These will be of immense value to gardeners as they consider distinguishing features and work out which will perform best for them. The book further aids identification by noting how local conditions can significantly affect plant characteristics including rate of growth, size of plant, leaf retention, and flower color. Cultural requirements and hardiness tolerance are clearly outlined, further ensuring success in the garden. This is the first attempt to authenticate and describe all known selections, varieties, and species in one text. It will be an invaluable resource for gardeners and collectors for years to come.

Media reviews

"Mr. Lane ... has compiled all the known species and varieties into what is now considered the witch hazel bible, complete with color photographs."

—Anne Raver, New York Times

"Constitutes the most up-to-date monograph on this valuable but often overlooked ornamental plant."

—Peter Kendall, American Rhododendron Society Journal

"The author's advice on plant culture and suitable companion plantings shows his lengthy experience and close association with his favorite plant."

—Marilyn K. Alaimo, Chicago Botanic Garden

"Has many details and photographs of numerous named varieties."

—Michael Martin Mills, Philadelphia Inquirer

"The latest and most extensive reference. ... If anyone can coerce a gardener to think outside the season, it's Lane. The book's gorgeous photographs offer a close-up of flowers that often are passed by or go unnoticed."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

"It's a fascinating book with a wealth of detail and should be read by anyone with an interest in the genus."

—Martyn Rix, International Dendrology Society Yearbook

About the author

Chris Lane

Chris Lane has worked in professional horticulture all his life both as a nurseryman (currently production director for Coblands Nurseries Ltd.), and also as a lecturer at Hadlow College, Kent, England, where he first became interested in witch hazels. He serves on the Woody Plant Trials Committee for the Royal Horticultural Society and on the committee for The Horticultural Development Council representing the Hardy Nursery Stock Industry.

Read more about Chris Lane

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