What a difference a day makes!

I went outside a couple of days ago and had a scout about. Not much had changed; many things seemed to be stuck, in suspended animation or even hibernation. Most of the trees were twigs without a hint of green or, indeed, of anything else.

Then we had a warmer day. I went out yesterday (not today, so this doesn’t really qualify as a Wordless Wednesday post and anyway I don’t tend towards wordlessness) and discovered this:

magnolia 1

From a standing start, the Magnolia stellata has gone PING.

mag 2

Or maybe that should be PING!

I’m entranced.

mag 3

I’m always entranced. Unfortunately I also have to clamber over a load of old flower pots, empty bags, etc to photograph it, as it leans over the roof of the old pigsty, otherwise known as the general dumping ground.

But that doesn’t really distract from its beauty.


Maybe it even emphasises it?

Which is just as well, because the old pigsty is what it is and will never be anything else, and is also far too useful to be demolished. Originally hidden behind a giant Rhododendron ponticum, the Magnolia has always been something of a semi-secret treasure, even though one of the first things I did on coming here was rip out the rhodie.

Leaving me with this to appreciate. Sigh…

mag 5

For a little while, at least – today we are back to normal, in the teeth of a howling gale which is making the windows rattle and which is also, no doubt, busy ripping the petals off the magnolia. Oh well, c’est la vie… ici, c’est la vie.

Do you have any hidden treasures, private surprises? Er, in your garden, that is?* Er, um, qualifying once again, cough, cough, as far as plants are concerned?

(*There was an old edition of the OED which blissfully defined a gazebo as ‘an erection in a garden’. Well, quite.)


20 thoughts on “What a difference a day makes!

  1. Pauline

    Such a beautiful magnolia, no wonder you cut the rhodo down! I think all the camellias and rhodos here are going to be the best yet, mainly thanks to all the rain last summer forming their flower buds.

    1. kate Post author

      Isn’t it pretty? I knew there was something lurking behind the rhody, and we did manage to work out it was a magnolia (it was midsummer and I’d not seen it in Spring), but it was such a lovely surprise that it turned out to be a stellata…

  2. Janet/Plantaliscious

    It has to be one of the most entrancing plants there is. One day mine will have that many blooms – assuming the wind doesn’t destroy them all. Blasted wind. Though at least it is warm. And thank you for making me laugh out loud with your gazebo definition etc! All my secret treasures are now revealed, being various bulbs that were choked by ivy and spotted laurels, now in the great green compost bin in the sky…At least you got those gorgeous photos, so even if the wind has done for the blossom it is immortalised. Not that it really makes up for it being ripped from the branches before you’ve been able to enjoy the scent wafting over the garden.

    1. kate Post author

      They are such worthwhile plants – real stars. I just walked past a garden with a ‘normal’ magnolia just breaking, and that has really suffered badly – the stellata seems comparably undamaged (phew). These winds are horrible… I think they must be a heck of a lot warmer up your way, because down here they’re still brrrrrrrr. OK, maybe not quite as brrrrrrrrr as they were. More of a brrr.

  3. Dobby

    Beautiful. Just as well you have the photo’s to remember it by. Still howling winds over here. Still waiting for my very well hidden treasures!

  4. Lyn

    Loved your use of the word “ping” – just right. I don’t think I have ever had any hidden, private surprises in the garden, but I live in hope.

    1. kate Post author

      It’s always worth checking… every year there seems to be something I didn’t remember planting. I think it must be the gardening brownies…

    1. kate Post author

      I know – ZAP as well as PING!

      Yesterday there wasn’t a hint of blossom on the damsons. They appeared to be dead. Today, one of them is covered in it. Either I’m going mad, or they are…

  5. hillwards

    Ah so beautiful! I hope that ours finds its feet and begins to flower (again) one of these years – still sulking after being dug up and stuck in a pot for a couple of years – though it will be many years before it is as big and bountiful as your lovely beast!

    1. kate Post author

      I’m sure it will be fine – most things which are cruelly confined to pots (adjective – copyright my bay tree) do seem to cope, even if it does take them a bit of time. If it’s any consolation, my bay tree sulked for 7 years. Hmm. Damn lucky it didn’t end up in the wood burner, that’s what I say…


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