Chill Thrill

Credit: Richard Hartlage/courtesy Great Plant Picks

A late snowfall caught this spike winterhazel in bloom, a dusting of powder accentuating its cheerful blossoms. Truly a four-season ornamental, Corylopsis spicata kicks off the new year with little yellow lanterns in late February and March. Its delicate leaves unfurl in April, maturing to dark green with blue-green undersides. In autumn the foliage turns a soft straw yellow and drops to reveal the shrub’s silhouette. Elegant in form, the branches of this Japanese woodlander zigzag slightly and spread to form a shrub wider than it is tall. Underplant it with a winter-flowering heath like Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Rote’ for a rich contrast. Hardy to zone 6.