Tag Archives: Magnolia Alexandrina

Saucer Magnolia and Another View of the Mabel Burnham House, Essex

Burnham House Essex MA Magnolia ©Kim Smith 2014Mabel Burnham House, Essex 

Saucer Magnolia ©Kim Smith 2014No group of trees and shrubs is more favorably known or more highly appreciated in gardens than magnolias, and no group produces larger or more abundant blossoms.” ~ Ernest “Chinese” Wilson, botanist and plant explorer

Do you have a favorite flowering tree? If I  had to chose just one, which would be very, very difficult because I LOVE all flowering tress, it might just be the Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana). But ask me again when the dogwoods are in bloom! I would love to know what is your favorite spring blooming tree. Write in the comment section and let us know. And send a photo, too, if you’d like. Thanks!

Saucer  magnolia ©Kim Smith 2014Global climate change is causing extremes in weather worldwide. The horticultural problems created by a spring cycle of freezing-thawing-freezing temperatures are only going to increase. The gardener’s best defense is to plant species that can withstand these new horticultural parameters. I find the Saucer Magnolia, which blooms later than the Star Magnolia, a much better choice for New England gardens, where spring is fleeting at best and tree blossoms are often quickly ruined by frost.

Magnolia Burnham Houes Essex MA ©Kim Smith 2014

dsc06526Joey’s Marsh View of the Burnham House, Essex, at Dawn

Think Pink! if you want that quel-que chose

Cornus florida rubra Pink Flowering Dogwood ©Kim Smith 2012Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida rubra)

Peony 'Adored' ©Kim Smith 2012

Peony ‘Adored’

Viridiflora Tulip ©Kim Smith 2012

China Town Viridiflora Tulip

Magnolia 'Alexandrina' ©Kim Smith 2012

Magnolia ‘Alexandrina’

Kay Tompson sings “Think Pink!” in Funny Face (1957, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire). The character of Dick Avery, played by Fred Astaire, is in part based on the real life fashion photographer Richard Avedon.

The Supervising Editor for my Black Swallowtail film, Craig Kimberley, and I, spent Saturday afternoon adding titles and color correcting. I have been looking at lots of films to study how some of my favorite film titles are created and discovered that Richard Avedon designed the opening title sequence and provided the stills for Funny Face, including this famously over-exposed iconic photo of Hepburn.

Funny_Face_Verve531231

vladimir_restoin_roitfeld_favorite_photographer_richard_avedon_audrey_hepburn_funny_face

Happy First Day of Spring!

Never put the kid’s boots away, until after St. Joseph’s Day!

Magnolia 'Alexandrina' Buds ©Kim Smith 2013

New England springs are predictably unpredictable. The above photo of Magnolia ‘Alexandrina’ was taken exactly one year ago. The Ciaramitaro’s Auntie Elenanor reminds everyone of an old Gloucester saying ~ Never put the kid’s boots away, until after St. Joseph’s Day!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy Birthday to my son Alex!

Top Five Magnolias for Cape Ann

Number Three is Magnolia ‘Forrest’s Pink’

Forrest’s Pink Magnolia

Forrest’s Pink is new to our garden. I purchased it several years ago through the mail and it arrived as nothing more than a stick with several side branches. FP is coming along beautifully and I was thrilled when last fall its very first bud had formed. Forrest’s Pink purportedly flowers slightly later, which is ideal for our predictably unpredictable New England spring. I also found very appealing its descriptions of delicious shell pink blooms, without a hint of purple. Although, what is most appealing is knowing that it’s parentage is that of the Lily Tree, or Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata, synonomous with M. heptapetala)–the most dreamily scented of all the magnolias.

I was excited to show you a photo of its first flower but some devilish creature chewed the bud to the base of the tree. The bud had formed very low to the ground—perhaps it made a great bunny feast. The list of critters who eat magnolia flowers is long and includes snakes, deer, squirrels, moles, mice, and opossums. In China, the sweet citrus-scented flowers of the Lily Tree are pickled and used as a flavoring for rice. The lovely ornamental seed heads of many species of magnolias provide food for a wide range of birds. Hopefully by next year at this time we will have more than one bud to gaze upon and to photograph.

Newly developing seed head of Magnolia ‘Alexandrina’

Nearly the moment the fruits of our magnolia trees ripen, they are devoured by the Catbirds and Mockingbirds.

Image of Forrest’s Pink Magnolia courtesy Google image search