Chris' Corner: A week in the life of our Magnolia...

A week in the life of our Magnolia...

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.

may 8

May 9
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. 

May 10

May 11May 12May 13

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.

May 14

May 15

May 16

Chris Smith CSSBB
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Comment balloon 6 commentsChris Smith • May 16 2011 12:15PM



Our neighbourhood is highlighted by magnolias in bloom. But, they only last a week and that's it.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 9 years ago

Brian, We have been lucky this year that there has been no high winds... the last couple of years the blooms didn't last days...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Well what do you know... a pink magnolia?  I had no idea.  I looked at your photos, read your post and then set out and researched magnolia trees.  This is the variety we grow in Georgia.  But your post promted me to learn.  There are actually 210 species of Magnolias.  210.  who knew?

Now I have to watch the movie steel magnolias again and pair up the ladies with their owns variety in my mind. 

Look what you did Chris. LOL

By the way your photos are just beautiful.  I'll have to take a photograph of my favorite magnolia tree and post it (when it's in full bloom of course)


Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 9 years ago

What a gift Chris, would have loved to have seen your face the first time you spotted the old Magnolia tree winking at you from your yard. From your eloquent writing Chris, we CAN smell the gorgeous scent from here. Great post. 

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

i think that we live in the most northern area that magnolia trees can actually survive Chris. Here's an article that you might find interesting about a rare 125 year old magnolia tree that was "discovered" in Cobourg last year.     If you are ever out this way, you might want to pass by it and have a look.


Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Tammy, I never knew there were white Magnolias, all I have seen are pink ones...

Thanks Al and Peggy, I have never been able to grow one... and was shocked the first time I saw it bloom, though this is the first year its been in full bloom for three days now (other years the a storm has blown most of the flowers away).

I definitely will, Malcolm, especially one that old...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago