pretty petals – magnolia branches

April 24, 2014

A blossoming magnolia tree is an incredible specimen.  And although we don’t have the climate for the well-known Southern Magnolia (magnolia grandiflora),  here in Southern Ontario we have many hardy varieties as well.  The Saucer Magnolia is the most prolific of the varieties you will find close to home (Magnolia × soulangeana).  The branches on all magnolia trees, when leafless, have a remarkable shape to them.  Placing a single branch in an interesting vessel makes for a very unique display.

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And the flowers –  wow!  They are magnificent.  The delicate scent and soft colours of a magnolia are a true harbinger of the spring season. Like all flowering trees, the warm weather is a necessity to get the blossoms to develop.  This time of the year is critical to enjoy a successful flowering season on this tree – particularly in Southern Ontario with our unpredictable weather.   The buds are very sensitive to frost, and if we have an unseasonal blast of cold once the buds have begun to form on this tree, it is game over – no flowers.  This happened in many parts of Southern Ontario two years ago.

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 In the early part of the spring, we love to buy magnolia branches for the studio and force the flowers to bloom indoors for a real treat! If you have a magnolia tree in your yard, wait until the buds are abundant and cut a branch off and enjoy some spring in the house a little earlier than Mother Nature had intended. You’ll be glad you did!

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