Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japanese Magnolia Tree

This is my last post in the Japanese Magnolia series. These are all photos from last week when it was at peak bloom. Over the past year, I've concentrated most of my efforts in this part of the yard. I purchased three azaleas, purple fountain grass (dead in the pot though and needs to be replaced), two camelias, and a few lily of the nile. I still have some work to do (like replacing that dead fountain grass) and plan to do a nice, long post on all the improvements once I am done. Now back to the Japanese Magnolia tree...
I planted this tree four - maybe five - years ago. My plan was for it to fill this spot and provide some privacy in our suburban backyard. My understanding is that these trees grow to be 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Just perfect for this space - towering over the azaleas, cascading over the fence, reaching to the sky to shield us from the neighbor's back windows.

But, this tree has been such a slow grower. I have definitely seen improvement over the years, but it hasn't grown to be nearly as tall as quickly as I'd hoped it would. I know part of the reason that it is growing slowly is that it is planted so near a large, established oak tree, its roots competing for water and nutrients underneath the ground.

I love its rich pink color. How that color pops in spring and coordinates with the new 'Spellbound' camelias. I do wish I had more blooms, though, and I guess that only comes with a larger tree. Are Japanese magnolias known to be slow growers?

Here, the blooms stand out against a bright blue sky.

And their pink shade glows in the sunset.

6 comments:

Phillip said...

They are so beautiful and I bet you don't have as many problems with late freezes on yours like we do. Mine grew very fast - I don't know why. Yours may be competing with root competition with the large tree close to it. I bet it will take off soon.

Shirley said...

How I wish we could grow magnolias like that here! I am still struggling to grow a Royal Star Magnolia. It is hardy to zone 4 but each year it dies back a little over winter. We're zone 3 pushing zone 4. It likely has competition from the swedish aspen in the yard next door but I will hold out hope for it to grow and flower.

Lisa Blair said...

Phillip, you're right, we don't have many problems with late freezes here. This is the best bloom I've ever seen from this tree, so I hoping that is a good sign for the type of growing year I'll have, too. I'll have to post more photos once it leafs out real good.

Shirley, these are beautiful trees, but I would give them up to nhe able to grow a peony!

compost in my shoe said...

I have always loved the saucer magnolia. They just say spring!!!

Ginger said...

ummm I've missed a lot on your blog in a few days!! love the new look and the japanese magnolia pics. that area of your yard looks amazing to me - like it was professionally-designed!

Lisa Blair said...

Ginger - thanks! I have worked hard on it. I have tried so many different things over the past five years, and I finally have something that looks decent. Once I get a new fountain grass, I think it will really look stunning.