Magnolia Athene in our park this week
1) The yellow Camellia chrysantha – looking rather more spectacular in the photo than on the bush. Plant Collector.
2) Trees for small gardens – Abbie’s column.
3) In praise of Bok Choy (aka Pak Choi) (this weeks GIY).
4) Tikorangi Diary with effusive praise for Magnolia Iolanthe and a plaintive complaint about people who can not read the important notes on our website explaining repeatedly that we do not mailorder or courier plants.
Magnolia Iolanthe in all her magnificence this week
Tikorangi Notes: Friday 16 September, 2011
While much of the country is in the grip of rugby world cup fever (save us should the All Blacks fail to deliver the silverware. Elections have been lost on less and the country may plunge into deep depression), it is magnolia time here. I read a colleague advocating planting magnolias at the bottom of a slope so you can look down on them but I disagree. I love looking up through them from below and I prefer my magnolias displayed against a blue sky rather than framed by other greenery. With some of our trees around 60 years old now, they have considerable stature. In fact the original plant of Iolanthe has a diameter of about 10 metres – that is a lot of Iolanthe on show. The other mid season magnolias – Athene, Lotus, Milky Way, Atlas and the like- are all opening and the coming week will be one of the highlights of our gardening year.
The original Iolanthe is a wondrous sight this week
Veltheimia bracteata "Rosalba"
It is not easy to convey the full impact of the original Magnolia Iolanthe in flower. It is a wondrous event. Mind you, at about 50 years old, the canopy does measure around 10 metres across so there is rather a lot of Iolanthe to be wondrous. As somebody commented to us, what will Felix Jury be like in full flower when it achieves the same age and similar stature? Possibly even more astounding. We never tire of magnolia time here.
We advertise that we are open for plant sales on Fridays and Saturdays which means that we will definitely be here in attendance. In fact we are here most of the time and the garden is open every day (there is an honesty box if we are not around) but we just don’t guarantee our availability on other days. You can ring first to check if you want to come on other days. Details on what we have available are listed in Plant Sales. I have to comment though that despite every page on Plant Sales explaining that we do not courier or mail order plants, (sales are to personal customers only), every single day brings enquiries from people who have either failed to read that header comment or who hope that we will make an exception for them. If it was easy to pack and courier plants, we would still be doing it but it isn’t, so we don’t. End of story, I am afraid. We will however hold plants out the back while you arrange for somebody else to pick them up for you or until you can get here.
The dainty delight of the erythronium
The highly sought after lemon and pink variant of veltheimia (bracteata Rosalba) is just coming into flower but we only have a few plants left so be in quickly if you want it. We have plenty of the more common pink (bracteata). And just as a complete contrast to the opulent magnolias, we have plants of one of the daintiest and most ephemeral seasonal delights – dogs tooth violets or erythroniums. Spring here is all about the big pictures and the tiny treasures. Why would anybody want an evergreen garden which looks the same all year round?
The original Magnolia Iolanthe is a sight to behold in full bloom
There will be no updates for the next three weeks owing to the fact that I am flying to Spain and Portugal today and Mark, who remains behind here at Tikorangi, is computer illiterate. New posts are all scheduled for www.abbiejury.co.nz and will appear each Friday as usual, but linking through to each from this site was one task too many to complete before I left.
In the meantime the garden is open daily and the magnolias and spring bulbs are looking splendid. Mark will be available for plant sales on Fridays and Saturdays as usual but he is less enthusiastic at other times unless by appointment. I plan to be far away eating tapas and drinking sangria in a country I have not visited before, although the thirty six hours it takes to reach Madrid from here has to be endured first.
Magnolia Serene by the pool, 2009
The photograph much admired by radio host and landscaper Tony Murrell on Radio Live this morning was the end of season snap of Serene taken last year. We might equally describe this as a fine example of why you do not plant a magnolia beside your swimming pool although in our case, it is why building the swimming pool beside the original Magnolia Serene was not such a brilliant idea of ours. The tree was there first. (Magnolia Diary 13).
Iolanthe, after a storm
Magnolia Lanarth is the first to drop its petals
Personally, I prefer the post-storm image of the original Magnolia Iolanthe (Magnolia Diary 9), planted beside our driveway although Lanarth (Magnolia Diary 4) dropping its petals more tidily and conveniently in our park is also a favourite.
Lanarth petal drop
All this is a little premature this season as we are just entering the new magnolia flowering season – there should be a splendid display out by next weekend.
And as a footnote, the petal drop around our lollipop Fairy Magnolia Blush is a regular delight still in store for this season as the first buds are just opening. (Magnolia Diary 12).
Circles of Fairy Magnolia Blush petals