To fully understand my fascination with the Magnolia you must travel back in time more than thirty years ago, when I first got my driver's license and started to drive on my own...
During a drive through the surrounding country, probably in late spring 1978, in the heart of a neighbouring town, Bolton, ON, I saw a century plus home with a magnificent tree. It must have been twenty feet tall and probably even wider. It was covered with magnificent large pink flowers and no leaves. I parked my Orange 1972 Duster across the road and just soaked it in. I had never seen a tree like this. Later in the week, I dragged my parents (who knew and still know much more about trees, vegetables, fruits and flowers than I ever will) with me back to this house.
They told me that this special tree was a Magnolia tree. Later I found that these trees were more common closer to Lake Ontario where they were generally more protected by the weather.
In the ensuing years, I must have given my parents three or four Magnolia trees, but they never survived on their property. They just couldn't survive the cold winter north winds...
When we bought our home, south of Alliston (further north than my parents or I have ever lived), we knew that the previous owners had spent a lot of time and effort creating a garden with mature plants, and that was definitely one thing that appealed to us. We did not relish buying a property and waiting thirty or forty years for some trees to mature.
It wasn't until the next spring that we realized that in a little protected courtyard outside my mother-in-law's residence was a ten foot high Magnolia tree. I no longer had to drive to Bolton to see my harbinger of Spring.
I decided to try and capture the daily change as our tree prepared to blossom this year, and some of the pictures are presented here. What these pictures cannot portray is the lovely sweet fragrance.
I love this time of year as the trees seem to be shaded in an endless variety of greens as their first leaves appear, the cacophony of birds singing before dawn, and the end of another winter and the promise of summer to come.
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage