Damn, I’m not even finished planting spring/summer plants and seeds, and I’m already getting fall bulb catalogs!


End of Spring Blooms

After beginning in fits and starts, Spring really settled down and put on some beautiful displays here in NE Ohio.

Now with June and warmer weather rolling in, the clematis, bleeding hearts and azaleas will be finishing up. So, it’s time to take one last look.

The Magnolia Watch

A saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) dominates my front yard. In mid-spring, it bears fragrant, saucer-shaped white flowers from 4 to 6 inches across flushed with pink or violet. Thirty feet high and close to that wide, it can be a hard tree to live with. It sheds small branches thoughout the year and casts a dense shade that little will grow in. When the buds open, their fuzzy sheaths litter the ground.

Thick leathery leaves turn a dull unattractive brown in fall and are hard to rake and slow to compost. Most importantly the flowers are frequently browned by early Spring frosts and freezes or frozen on the stems by late snows, rendering the flower display either very short or non-existent.

Even with all those difficulties, I would not eliminate it from my garden because in those years when the weather cooperates it is glorious in bloom.

So every year around this time, my wife and I keep one eye on the weather forecast and the other on the magnolia buds.