Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Magnolia sieboldii

This is magnolia season here, which usually means we'll have some really unpleasant weather to go along with it. Occasionally we get a year when the magnolias can just bloom and smell nice and be delightful. More often , though, just when the magnolias are about to put on their show, we get, you choose, rain, sleet, snow, freezing weather, drought, heatwave, or other unpleasantness. This year will be no different. Some of the later blooming magnolias will probably escape this year, but the early ones are being assaulted. The picture is Magnolia sieboldii. I picked a large branch of this one, with buds about to open, before the cold spell started and brought it in, along with another type, to put in a vase on the kitchen windowsill. My whole kitchen is now sweetly scented. They don't last all that long inside, but while they do they are lovely. I also brought in branches of quince, lilac (my white flowered one that always blooms way before anything else), some small blue flowers of various sorts, and armloads of daffodils. Hank kids me about making this place look like a funeral home sometimes when I pick that many flowers. I just have to hate them frozen outside when I could be enjoying them. Luckily I have several dozen vases to fill.
Yesterday was a weird weather day. It was cold and windy and from time to time we had snow. The snow didn't last long and didn't stay on the ground long. Sometime around the last blizzardlette, I finally thought to take a picture of daffodils covered with snow. Too late. By the time I got the camera, the sun had come out, even though it was still snowing, and everything melted in about 30 seconds. Just weird.
I guess I should say something about the magnolia I pictured. It is one of the nicest scented ones, very lemony. It lives in zones 6-8 and grows 10 to 20 feet tall. Ours are closer to the 10 foot size after about a dozen years in the gardens. They like partial shade and moist but well-drained soil. They start blooming at an early age, which is always nice. Like most of the northern magnolias, they are deciduous. The color in the center can vary from pale pink, though rose, to a rather dark red. Ours seem pretty carefree, though since they are an early season bloomer, they can get frosted.
The sun is shining, so even though it is cold, I suppose I'll head outside to do some gardening.

1 comment:

Sylvia (England) said...

Oh Jane! I chuckled when I read your first sentence - it is the same here. This year the magnolias seem to have missed being frosted so we are enjoying a lovely display. I think our cool wet summer last year suited them. Still we are luckly it is usually only frost that effects the flowers - heat, we never get that hot in spring! Though there is always a first time.

Hope you enjoyed our gardening. Best wishes Sylvia (England)