11 May 2010

Spring Blossoms and Magnolias


Have you ever seen the magnificence of a magnolia in full bloom?  It is a sight you will not soon forget!  Typically one associates magnolias with the deep south of the United States (Gone With the Wind) but they are not limited to that specific area.  There are varieties hardy enough for zone 4!  I like to push the boundaries in my garden so two years ago I purchased my first magnolia. 

Lois Hole writes about Star Magnolia in her book Favorite Trees and Shrubs.  I just had to try it.  So here we are, the second year in and my Royal Star Magnolia has flower buds!  Hopefully I will be rewarded with blooms this year provided the buds, which look like pussy willows, didn't freeze.  The above links to a photo of a magnolia in bud.  Magnolias need a sheltered area, preferably with morning sun.  As Jim Hole (Hole's Greenhouse in St. Albert) said just today on Breakfast Television, he considers areas with morning sun as shady and areas with afternoon sun, at least 6 hours, as sunny. 

Note:  at the request of a reader, I further researched the probable size of the Magnolia Stellata (Royal Star Magnolia).  There is some conflicting information with sizes of 12-15 feet according to one source and another citing 8-10 feet  high and wide.  Typically this bush grows as high as it does wide.  Royal Star Magnolia is rated a zone 4 and since I reside in a zone 3 area I prefer to be on the conservative side.  I suggest this bush may grow only 6-8 feet high and wide.  A slow grower, the Star Magnolia grows only a couple inches or so per year.  A particularly harsh winter may cause tip death and thus limit its size so I tend to lean towards a conservative measurement.  Should anyone have information regarding a large well-established specimen in the Edmonton area I would love to hear about it.

Signs of Spring:

The neighborhood is an array of spring blossoms including tulips and double-flowering plums, and plum  trees.  These photos courtesy of Anne Mooney.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also live in Edmonton and am considering putting in a magnolia. How big do you think your shrub will get?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...