Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Meets Winter

The Camellias are still blooming profusely and they are used to being the only show in town throughout much of the winter.

One of the oldest on the driveway (var. Mathotiana if I remember) is so laden with blooms that it looks like a carpet of red on the ground around it.  

Since December, these garden workhorses have been blooming away while the rest of the garden is mostly slacking off!

But sometimes there's a bit of overlap when spring bursts out just before the camellias have decided to pack it in until next year.  

And when that happens..... what a riot of color!!

The dark purplish-pink blooms of the Oriental or Japanese Magnolias (on the left) are striking, but
the particular tree (I've only got one) that I'll miss the most when we move is the beautiful Magnolia Stellata or "Star Magnolia" (var. Dr. Merrill) that's behind the Camellia in the top photo and on the right in the photo just above.  

It's a deciduous magnolia and the blooms can get zapped by a late freeze some years, but when the frosts stay away in late February, beautiful Dr. Merrill is covered with the most lovely pale pink blooms that you'd ever want to see.  It lights up the entire driveway for 10-14 days.  

It's been slowly growing now for about 20 years and, as far as Magnolia Stellatas go, it's positively huge.  

 Unlike the Orientals or the big evergreen Grandiflora Magnolias, each 6-8" blossom is soft and just a little floppy.  

Beautiful from afar and even more striking when you take the time to go up close... they even have a little bit of scent.... perfect!!  


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