Hamamelis intermedia 'Barmstedt Gold'-x
This variety of witch hazel is one of the best, producing an abundance of scented golden flowers in January and February on its bare stems. There are few shrubs flowering at this time so it can brighten the garden during these darker months.
In the autumn it can produce excellent autumn colours of yellows and oranges, by keeping the plant away from strong winds these leaves will remain on the plant for longer.
Witch hazels grow to around 3m in ten years and so are suited to the back of borders, they can grow in partial shade but prefer full sun and should be sheltered from strong winds. They grow best in neutral to acidic soil that is free draining so add ericaceous compost and sharp sand when planting.
Witch hazels are easy to keep if positioned correctly, being very hardy and not requiring any pruning. They don't usually suffer from any pests or diseases.
Witch hazels can be used in a scented area of the garden with sarcococca (Christmas box) and daphne good to plant nearby both producing plenty of scent. Helleborus can also be underplanted together with snowdrops and other spring bulbs.