I rarely see a barber shop with its candy-striped pole any more, but when I was a little girl they were common. One of my earliest memories is that of going to the barber shop with my daddy. I loved the haircuts, shaves, and conversations. I loved the lollipop the barber always gave me. Most of all I loved the intoxicating smell of the witch hazel the barber used as an astringent.
It is not surprising then, that one of my very favorite plants is Arnold Promise, a bright yellow witch hazel. While very attractive, Arnold is not so interested in looking good. He does what few other plants will do. In February when other plants are sleeping, Arnold gets dressed up in his yellow finery and blooms for us. You can't imagine the excitement around here when Arnold begins to bloom. This blooming plant marks a passage of time for us.
Arnold's blossoms spread throughout the plant...bright yellow on bare stems. When enough blossoms are open, the heavenly fragrance wafts through the air and you no longer have to stick your nose in the plant to smell it. Your mood is uplifted the minute your walk outside.