This year, our Magnolia stellata has found its feet and begun to flower for the first time in this garden.
The plant arrived by post some seven or eight years ago: a bareroot plant dispatched in winter – a small twig in a box. It was planted in our first small city garden for little over a year before we moved, when I couldn’t bear to leave it behind, and rather unceremoniously dug it up and plunged it into a pot.
It turned out to be a particularly canny decision, as within a year of moving we learned that our previous garden had been gravelled over, to leave no trace of the plants we left behind.
The magnolia graciously accepted life in a pot for a couple of years as we worked on the house and garden, until we could finally plant it out into a newly excavated border once the building works were complete.
For a couple of years I have watched its spring buds form rather hopefully for a sign of flowering buds, and this year at last I was rewarded by the sight of a dozen promising furry buds.
In the past couple of days, the first buds have split to reveal the delicate rose-washed outer petals tightly encased, which have since unfurled in the sunshine into these beautiful pure white flowers.
I love their simplicity, and purity. Such beautiful flowers, and a welcome sight: my patience rewarded.
A long shot for Christina, to put the planting in perspective. Still small in stature, our young magnolia stands at the back of the long border between two thickets of Leycesteria formosa, behind a swathe of fresh Crocosmia foliage and emerging aquilegias.