In praise of magnolias

Who knew? I always thought of magnolias (if I ever thought of them) as the over-dressed girls of the tree world.

But spring has come early to Sydney this year, and we’ve experienced all three magnolia trees in all their glory. I’m in love — truly, madly, deeply.

Like the redbud I know well from Texas, the magnolia’s flowers arrive ahead of the leaves. Delicate, fleshy, blushing petals form elegant goblets, which then split open before dropping to the ground. As the pink petals are replaced with spring green leaves, the magnolia becomes a Lilly Pulitzer frock.

And as with any proper frock, the magnolia wears perfume. Gently sweet, barely there. Uncharacteristally understated. And all the more seductive.

The magnolia framing the verandah is petite, a perfect frame for our meals at the picnic table:

magnolia 6 |

It’s a lovely pink:

magnolia 4 |

The two magnolias out front are much taller, one white and other pink:

magnolia 1 |

magnolia 2 |

They were so beautiful, I couldn’t leave them outside, so I snipped a branch to bring inside. As a friend commented on this photo on Facebook, it’s a very artful arrangement, all by itself. A Japanese print:

magnolia 5 |


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