Tuesday, December 4, 2012

For the grower of magnolias, the promise of spring is evident from late summer on...


Thousands upon thousands of magnolia buds are spread about our small acreage, portending the time when spring will again show its presence on the land. These many magnolia buds make winter so much more bearable for me... they are a promise of what is to come and I love to gaze upon them from the windows at Oak Lawn through the shortened days of winter... it takes but a small amount of imagination to see in the mind's eye what they represent.

Last year was somewhat of a disappointment regarding the magnolia bloom... blossoms on many of the trees were damaged by the cold which followed unseasonable warmth in March. On the other hand, the earlier blooming forms may have been their best ever. This is why I grow a variety of all sorts of plants in my gardens... what may be bad for one tree or shrub may well be the perfect thing for another in a particular year. Waiting two consecutive for bloom would be difficult at the very least were it not for other blooming trees to fill the void created by an unseasonable freeze.

I harbor a bit of concern for the season to come... we are in the 50's and it's December. Though we've seen this many times in the past and find it to be pleasant, I am concerned that another very early batch of warm days followed by freezing temperatures could happen in March as was the case last year. This is not what a magnolia lover wants to have happen, anymore than an orchardist who depends on the bloom of his trees for fruit or perhaps livelihood. 

This year is unique in that every magnolia on the property has flower buds except for one tree which may well be in too much shade. My anticipation is on high alert as I look forward to seeing at least a dozen magnolia trees bloom in my gardens for the first time.

It is time to once again take stock of the magnolias at Oak Lawn. There are less than last year for a variety of reasons. I am pleased to know that there does not appear to be verticillum wilt in the soil (after having tests done) and the trees that were lost were most likely affected by herbicides... yes, my grass will be a bit weedier in the future, at least where the lawn has magnolia roots under it.

Where possible I will include photos from this season in my magnolia update. In some cases this is not possible due to blossoms having been frozen this year. There are now 57 magnolias of 38 different varieties in the gardens of Oak Lawn Cheese Factory, and I have the urge to once again add to that number. There is always something new and special becoming available and in the case of my lost 'Crescendo' tree, due to root damage caused by my lawn edger, I simply must replace it!

1. Leonard Messel

2. Stellata #1 of 4

3. Magnolia kobus var. stellata 'Jane Platt'
Will bloom for the first time this season!

4. Magnolia stellata 'Pink Perfection'

5. Magnolia x kewensis 'Wada's Memory'

6. Magnolia soulangiana #1-3

7. Magnolia x soulangiana 'Brozzoni'

(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

8. Magnolia x soulangiana 'Burgundy'

9. Unknown cultivar of Magnolia x soulangiana

10. Magnolia x soulangiana 'Rustica Rubra'

(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

11. Magnolia x soulangiana 'Verbanica'

12. Magnolia x soulangiana 'Alexandrina' #1-2

13. Magnolia kobus var. stellata 'Rosea x M. liliiflora 'Nigra' (Betty) #1-3

14. Magnolia kobus var. stellata 'Rosea x M. liliiflora 'Reflorescens'' (Pinkie) #1-2

15. Magnolia kobus var. stellata x Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' (Ann) #1-2

16. Magnolia kobus var. stellata  'Rosea' x Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' (Susan) #1-2

17. Magnolia 'Galaxy' (Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' x Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' #1-2)

(Galaxy is a shy bloomer until it gets to be fairly old)

18. Magnolia 'Butterflies' (M. acuminata x M. denudata 'Sawada's Cream' #1-2)

19. Magnolia 'Yellow Bird' (Magnolia acuminata x (M. x brooklynensis 'Evamaria'))

(older photo... well developed buds froze 2012 season)

20.  Magnolia 'Yellow Lantern' (Magnolia acuminata var. subcordata x (M. x soulangiana 'Alexandrina'))

21.  Magnolia 'Elizabeth' (Magnolia acuminata x denudata)

22. Magnolia 'Savage Splendor' (M. acuminata 'Fertle Myrtle x M. sprengeri 'Dark Diva')
Will bloom for the first time this season!

23. Magnolia 'Daybreak' ((M. brooklynensis 'Woodsman') x 'Tina Durio') #1-2

24. Magnolia 'Simple Pleasures' (M. liliiflora x M. 'Norman Gould')

25. Magnolia 'Sunset Swirl' (M. 'Pink Royalty' x M. 'Daybreak')
(Yet to form buds)

26. M. 'Pink Royalty' x 'Daybreak'
(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

27. M. 'Rose Marie' (M. 'Pink Surprise' x Daybreak') #1-2

28.  Magnolia 'Blushing Belle' (M.'Yellow Bird' x M. 'Caerhays Belle')
Will bloom for the first time this season!

29. Magnolia 'Roseanne'  (M. lilliflora 'O'Neil' x M. kobus 'Norman Gould)

30. Magnolia 'Angelica' (M. Pegasus x M. soulangeana 'Sawada's Pink')
Will bloom for the first time this season!

31. Magnolia 'Red Baron' (M. acuminata x M. 'Big Dude')

(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

32. Magnolia 'Toro'

(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

33. Magnolia loebneri 'White Rose'

34. Magnolia sieboldii 'Colossus' #1-3

(well developed buds froze 2012 season)

35. Magnolia 'Oriental Charm' (M. officinalis x M. wieseneri')
(Yet to form buds)

36. Magnolia tripetala

37. a mislabeled yellow with large blooms

38. And finally, a self-seeded tree having heavy bud set even as a young plant and tiny blooms barely two inches in diameter...

The last time that I did the annual inventory for my magnolia collection, I included a fair amount of information on most of the plants. I have decided against that this time, however, if you have questions about individual cultivars. etc. do feel free to ask them in the comments section... I will do my best to answer them.

I'll close with  a few magnolias in the context of garden views.



Sunray Gardens said...

You have a beautiful Magnolia collection. They sure seem to do well for you. Maybe this year wasn't the best for them, but we know this was a weird year for lots of our plants.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Beth said...

You have many beautiful magnolias, Larry. My favorites are #8, 9, 21, and 23. I hope you have a fabulous magnolia year next year, Larry.

Phillip Oliver said...

What a stunning collection. I wish I had room for more. I've always wanted Yellow Bird and a host of others.

Alistair said...

Larry, I can share with you my pleasure in looking forward to the coming Spring, dont want to rush things too much at my age though. Such a remarkable range of Magnolias to look forward to, hope you get to see them all in their full glory next time around. I do find the Magnolia loebneri 'White Rose extremely special in spite of not having the traditional shaped blooms.

Lisa Gordon said...

Oh my goodness, Larry! These are absolutely gorgeous, and also my very favorite flower. We had the same issue as you, last season, and I really am hoping we don't have a repeat this season, but it's raining and 56 degrees here today! :-(

Tootsie said...

I am so glad you linked in this week. we don't have magnolia here!!!!
I have been in the deep freeze of Alberta for a while now and seeing that others still have a few things on the "grow" makes me smile! I hope you will again soon!
I am sharing this post with my Tootsie Time facebook page!
Hugs from Alberta Canada
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

Carolyn said...

I am so glad I didn't miss this post. A virtual encyclopedia of magnolias, my favorite tree. I am defintiely looking into "White Rose" for possible addition to my garden in 2013.