One of the few nuts that grows here naturally, is enjoyed by our family, and forms shrubs rather than a single, tall tree: hazelnuts. Also known by the less catchy “filbert,” the hazelnut bushes will form thickets if allowed. They thrive in the saturated ground here.
I planted some rather spindly specimens last year. They never really grew, and presumably spent last summer putting down roots. Then the winter killed them. Then—quelle surprise—in late spring they put out some blooms, and now have fully leafed out! Not dead after all.
The songbirds seem to like them, too. For the gardener who is time-limited and efficient (okay, or lazy), plants that are native to the region are a godsend. Hazelnuts tend to thrive in their preferred environment even in the face of delayed mulching and nonexistent weeding.
Here’s hoping for homemade Nutella!