What do you see on your garden walks?

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Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Bob -  I have a fine copy of Celia Rosser's 'The Banksias' Vol III published by Monash University. I don't think I've seen such fine botanical paintings, even from the masters of old. They are quite extraordinary. I've seen the originals at the Natural History Museum and they took my breath away. I had quite an interest in these plants some years ago and grew a number of species (along with the incomparable 'Silver Tree' from South Africa). They were quite amenable in very sandy acid soil in large pots and have fascinating adaptations for such poor soils. They are also very long flowering and intriguing to watch as the flowering head develops. The sort of plant that makes you wish you had the Mediterranean biome of the Eden Project in your back garden!!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Harold wrote:

[i]A. italicum appears perfectly hardy here in Central New York and has not spread aggressively in the three years it's been in the ground.  We are in the snow belt and usually have good snow cover in winter.  They are looking quite beautiful right now.

Thanks Harold, this is important feedback, exactly what I was hoping to hear, and since your climate is rather similar to mine, it's all the more encouraging to learn of your experience with Arum italicum. There are a number of plants like this, that in more southern climes plants grow and spread too aggressively, but when reaching their northern hardiness limit are much better behaved (they're in check or balance with the climate), thus perfectly reasonable to introduce into the garden without trepidation.  At the moment with the growing season at its end, I'm so enjoying evergreen plants that provide interest and color, such as evergreen and semi-evergreen Epimedium, Pulmonaria foliage, and Cyclamen foliage; hope to add the Arum in the near future.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Nold wrote:

Quote:

  Hardly any banksias could be said to be really hardy   

True. Life isn't fair. If someone wants to take up a collection....for me....to buy a decaying villa on the Italian Riviera, I'll be happy to grow as many banksias (and hakeas and proteas) as I can, and report back.

One of Cindy's most prized books was a signed copy of Celia Rosser's banksia book. Stunning watercolors of some totally cool plants.

Bob

I hear ya Bob, I've come to terms with what I can reasonably grow and not grow (although still quite willing to experiment).  When I visited Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, California, my head spins with all of the fabulous plants like Banksia, Protea, Leucadendron, and innumerable others.  Even when I visit my in-laws in the Baltimore Maryland - Washington DC area, I marvel at spectacular Magnolia grandiflora trees, growing just like any other common oak or maple, each specimen is a horticultural spectacle.  Here in Massachusetts, I'm amused by the few examples of this species I see planted (near Boston), each year cut back and "bonsai'd", having no chance to even begin to replicate their splendor just 500 miles to the south.  So far, what I've seen of so-called hardy M. grandiflora in Massachusetts are pathetic, although I admit that I have not seen any on Cape Cod or the islands (Martha's Vineyard) where supposedly nice specimens do grow, but such areas are easily 1 full zone higher than where I am.  I'd rather rejoice in Magnolia grandiflora's magnificence when visiting my wife's family, than struggle with something that truly doesn't succeed this far north.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

I can't seem to find my picture of Magnolia grandiflora I took last year in Lakewood, Colorado (just west of Denver)...there are several large grandifloras around my area looking pretty respectable. The one in Lakewood is about 20 years old and nearloy 30' tall, and very full and showing no winter damage in our zoned 5B. As a consolation I am posting my picture of Magnolia virginiana v. glauca in seed: this is off the state champion specimen at Denver Botanic Gardens: I think both of these are viable trees in Denver.

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I really must add Magnolia virginiana to my garden, there are a number of good forms.  Never makes a big floral impression but the flowers are lovely, fragrant, and appear over a long and late season.  I meant to post photos earlier in the year of my first flowering on Magnolia sieboldii - Korean form (grown from Magnolia Society seed, I believe in their 4th or 5th year from seed).  Flowers started the end of May and kept on coming all through June.  Wonderful fragrance and pristine blooms.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

That's really a beautiful form, Mark.  Flowers are more upright than any of the ones I have seen.  And doubly awesome, considering they are maiden flowers!  It seems quite precocious, too.

My Magnolia sieboldii flowers are completely pendent. :(

       

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Mark, I have never really considered to try magnolia from seed. However after seeing your plants I've got courage to try!
I bought 4-5 specimens in the fall sale and hope for at least some flowers ;)

We have had some very bad weather recently. Last night a hailstorm from northwest made it difficult to sleep. However no damage in my garden and no frost yet except one night down to -0.7C. But the weather forecast says snow next week ???

Some plants have set out on an early spring growth. Leucojum vernum is not native in Norway but has been used here as a garden plant in 1k years! Erica carnea is not that old as a garden plant but is completely hardy and starts blooming with the first sun in winter. And of course the hellebores, always some in flower ;D All pictures taken today.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

The Magnolia flowers are truly exquisite! We grew a batch of seed from Jim Archibald of sieboldii and I was amazed how quickly they started to flower, having heard tales of how so many can take decades to reach flowering size. A friend has been growing campbellii (or a hybrid) in his garden for some 15 years and is excited by the first signs of flower buds this autumn.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Magnolia seed does not have to be kept moist like an ehemeral, but they don't like to be dried out too much either.  They say it is best to remove the pulp, but in my one experience growing M. sieboldii from seed from my tree: about 100 seeds gave 100% germination (I think) with natural cold stratification and without pulp removed.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Our local Magnolia guru, Stephen Cover (runs the Magnolia Society seed exchange) gives directions for Magnolia seed.  He suggests soaking the seed in water for several days to a week, to soften up the fleshy outer cover.  The water gets plenty putrid, so best to change the water a couple times.  Then squish the big black seed out, like pitting olives, a messy job.  Towel dry the seed, then store in zip-lock baggies with sphagnum and just a hint of moisture, put them in your vegetable drawer in the fridge for the winter.  When weather has warmed up in spring after most danger of frost, sow, water, leave the flats outside, and they come up quickly, they don't need any stratification (tho' it could be that stratification doesn't hurt).  I do get a few self sown Magnolia as well (rare), so I don't know whether the pulp truly needs to be removed or not.

Rick, I didn't get seed on my young M. sieboldii, but when I do some year, I'll try an experiment sowing with and without de-pulping.  It is interesting that you get such strong germination without removing the pulp.  Most M. sieboldii trees I have seen in person, have had pendant flowers... nice to have them look straight out on this Korean form.

Tim, I have other Magnolia trees grown from seed or bought as young whips, and years have gone by without any bud set, even though the trees are getting big; so I was indeed pleased to get buds on little M. sieboldii plants so quickly.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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