Picture a Magnolia in your head, I reckon most of us would see Magnolia x Soulangeana
I was forever going on as to how Magnolia would not grow in Aberdeen, if it did survive, it was a pitiful specimen. Having said that, the only one that would look fine, given a sheltered position was Stellata.
Some of my friends from the USA would get in touch to remind me as to how much colder the Winters were on their side of the Atlantic, and how Magnolias still thrived.
The conclusion I came to, although never confirmed, was, how much cooler our Summer months were in Aberdeen, compared to the USA, and although Magnolia is generally a Spring flowering shrub/tree I am positive therein lies the problem.
Well, sadly to say, we are no longer in Aberdeen, well its not all bad news, as we are in the wonderful fertile, wet land of Cheshire, where Summer is warmer and the Magnolias are blooming there heart out in abundance at the moment.
Strangely enough, not in our garden, every time I think a spot in the garden is ideal for one, we end up planting something else.
The Magnolia x Soulangeana, pictures above, is blooming away nicely in our daughters garden, they live just around the corner, so I have claimed it as mine, as their interest in gardening is very limited, at the moment. I seem to be doing a lot of this claiming stuff recently.
Well anyway, lets concentrate on this beautiful Magnolia, which, since moving into their house about six years ago has been looking rather peaky. Until, last Spring, I tidied up the border and gave it a good deep mulch of ericaceous compost. This Spring, what a difference, smothered in healthy blooms.
Magnolia x Soulangeana is a hybrid crossed with M Denudata and M Lilliflora, bred by the French plantsman Etienne Soulange-Bodin in 1820.
Before the leaves appear, the creamy white cup shaped blooms with a splash of lilac/pink open up with all their grace in April giving a breathtaking display for several weeks.
Remaining shrub like for many years this Magnolia can have pride and place as a central specimen in all but the very smallest of gardens. When eventually it becomes tree size the height can reach 6m/20ft.
Pruning, other than cutting off wayward branches after flowers have gone over isn’t recommended.
Hardiness *** Fully hardy
Position *** Full sun/partial shade
Soil *** Clay/loam acid/neutral moist but well draining
Height *** 6m/20ft after many years
The garden is starting to come alive. The front and back are all well planted up to hopefully give a good show in Summer. I think we need to add a little more Spring interest for next year.
The Daffodil Lotherio above has been giving a good show since the end of March. A bit taller than the 16″ described on the label
Salome, now she is a beauty, looking at their best for the first ten days or so when the short trumpets are a buttery yellow. As they age the trumpets then turn a peachy pink, which some may actually prefer. Great Daff 14″ tall and very sturdy stems.
Daffodil/Narcissus never sure how to refer to some of these, however the multi headed Pipit is very appealing.
Tresamble has two white blooms on each stem. These ones growing in a tub will definitely be planted out in the garden later on.
Daff Reggae, we had this one in Aberdeen, a favourite of Myras. The blooms have a nodding habit, appears to be a weak plant when the blooms first open, soon settles down and becomes another charming addition to the collection.
After planting up these tubs last October, the Squirrels never left them alone, I have been really surprised as to how good the show has been.
Well, I was pretty sure I had kept all the labels, cant find one that matches this tulip though.
We have a few of these Brunerra Jack Frost which were lifted from our Aberdeen garden, no way were they staying behind.
Good to see the back garden coming to life.
The woodland path now has a good mulch of bark. I didnt put a membrane under this as I couldnt afford to reduce the drainage as it gets very boggy in Winter.
© 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.