Winter? Who says it is still winter? Tikorangi Notes: August 4, 2011

The first flowers opening on Magnolia Felix Jury this morning

The first flowers opening on Magnolia Felix Jury this morning

After a bitter cold couple of days last week and a frost which has done a relatively alarming amount of damage, this week it seems as if spring has arrived with the start of August. The sky is blue, there is enough warmth in the sun to see our Lloyd make his appearance in shorts (neither Mark nor I are that hardy) and the magnolias are opening.

We advertise that the garden is open from the start of August, but if you want to see the magnolias at their best, keep watching here (or follow us on We are picking that the first flush of magnolias will peak in about a fortnight. We usually get two peak flowerings here – the early ones which are heavily dominated by the best reds and then a few weeks later, the mid season varieties in early September. Vulcan is currently flowering, Black Tulip is just opening and we have the first few flowers on Felix Jury which just keeps on getting better every year.

In plant sales this week, we look at Black Tulip and at camellia hedging options. We were both amused and quietly chuffed to learn from a garden article in The Telegraph that Mark’s Magnolia Black Tulip had been presented to the Queen last year. Henceforth, we shall refer to it as a magnolia fit for a queen. It was quite a gratifying Telegraph article really, with high praise for Mark’s new Fairy Magnolia Blush which is just becoming available in the UK.