Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's a Star....

...Magnolia that is! This is a wonderful shrub..or tree in this case. One of the very few plants in this yard when we moved here 12 years ago and has tripled in height. She has a sweet, but subtle fragrance. If I'm lucky, the blooms lasts 2-3 weeks. Foliage is lush and green and turns a golden yellow in the fall. Cool fuzzy, pussy-willow-like buds open to a 4" creamy white flower. The only drawback I could think of is (because she blooms so early) she's very susceptible to frost (quick, knock on wood!). Oh, and a tad messy when petals drop but I definitely think worth having. The same buds a few days later...

This photo,taken minutes ago, through the window at my back. As you can see, she towers over the 9 ft. clematis arbor.
A mish-mash of blooms.....Tete-a-Tetes (and Bandit)
I hesitantly divided my hellebores last fall and this clump was planted too deep. Chock-full of blooms but it's much shorter than it should be...but I'm SO happy it bounced back ok. I ordered these (hellebore mix) from a catalog a few years back and don't know what the cultivars are. Any ideas?

And wait, do my eyes deceive that a dandelion?? In Notice though it doesn't have the telltale weedy foliage...actually, there's no leaves at all! I'm afraid to let it go to seed and can hear HH chanting "pull it, pull it now!"
I guess it'll be history soon..but it's kinda pretty up close...wait, do dandelions have those clusters of thingies in the center..?  Hmm...I'm definitely stumped!
Here's another quiz...can you identify what these blooms are? Don't peek below!
Okay, so you knew it was a Pieris japonica, Lily of the Valley shrub, andromeda, fetter bush! That was WAY too easy! A wonderful evergreen shrub with leathery foliage and new growth is tinged in red. Also, they make excellent fillers in flower arrangements. I would love to get the pink-flower variety. It's too cold to venture out today so guess I'll do some blog gardening to take the edge off...
have a wonderful weekend everybody!


  1. Your magnolia is magnificent. Love all the other pics too.

  2. I love your magnolia! Absolutely stunning with the forsythia in the foreground. Good luck with the frost:D

  3. What a glorious magnolia! It is one of my favourites, though I have never grown one. I have a dim and distant memory of someone telling me years ago that they thrive in polluted areas. I wonder if this is true?

  4. So many pretty things coming up in your garden! What a pleasure. What is that yellow flower anyway? I've seen a yellow dandelion type flower at the local park a few times now, and I'm so curious what it is. I think it's the same as yours. It's growing in a wet area. I enjoyed the star magnolia at this same garden, and if you see my post today, you'll see it as lovely as yours!

  5. Your yard looks beautiful! I love the magnolia. We just planted our first one about a month ago. It's so interesting to see what's blooming in different areas. The forsythia is blooming here, but the pieris and magnolias are just barely getting started. I love all you hellebores.

  6. Oh wow, my yard looks so drab in comparison.... It is still cold here and might snow Monday! Love the pics! ~Brooke

  7. It's looking very spring-like in your garden Lynn! (Maybe that's because it's spring!)

    We have only scilla, a hellebore, and the Cornelian cherry dogwoods blooming so far here. (would have forsythias by now too, but I killed it by planting it in a spot that's too wet!)

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

  8. Oh I wish I could smell them, this computer is so lacking.
    You have such great blooms going on bow. The primrose and hellebore are gorgeous. I want one of those Pieris bushes so bad. I keep looking for one that is cheaper than some I have seen listed.
    Just beautiful beds.

  9. Hi Keewee (or is it Jennifer?), thanks for liking my photos! I can't wait to see your tulips in bloom :)

    Heather, do you have a spot in your landscape for a star magnolia? It's not a common shrub but you can see how pretty it is. Btw, thannks for leaving me the email.

    Hi Phoenix...hmmm...not sure about "thrives in polluted area" comment but I would think alot of plants would adapt ok in most places..can't hurt to try.

    Robin, I did pop over and enjoyed your photos too! My well cap is right next to "that yellow flower" so it IS damp there. The stalks are fuzzy and different looking than a dandelion...I'll have to do research!

    Catherine, you'll love your newly planted magnolia! They are fuss or muss..just there to enjoy. Post a picture when yours is blooming, please!

    Thanks Brooke and Linda. Well, I was feeling like my garden would never rouse but after a weekend of rain and few days of sunshine, everything just seemed to POP! Yours are coming...I promise!

    Hi Lona! When you shop for your Pieris, look for "Mountain Fire"..which has the pretty red new growth. Other pluses... it's deer resistant, an evergreen, and will do good in partial sun. The one in the picture is about 5 ft. tall...I don't remember it being so loaded with blooms. There is definitely a fragrance..just not particularly a "sweet" one.

  10. Hi Lynn, I love the view from the back window. That magnolia is magnificent. Looks like M. stellata? The hellebores usually dislike being divided, it sets them back by years. That looks like H. orientalis. Mulch well in the fall and you should have tons of seedlings to spread around in a couple of years. Be patient, it takes two years for germination. Everything looks wonderful.

  11. Hi Lynn, The magnolia is obsolutely magnificent! From far, it looks like cotton balls. I notice you have a matching white fence next to this magnificent tree... good combination :-) Btw, thank you for dropping by my blog.

  12. Your spring flowers are fabulous! I don't know which I like best, but I think it's the hellebores. I've got to find some for my own garden! It's nice to know that the star magnolia is pretty in the fall too. Many spring trees lack interest the rest of the year.


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