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Magnolia – one of the most dramatic flowering shrubs in the garden

The magnolia buds are beginning to swell;  they must be one of the most dramatic flowering shrubs in the garden.  First the hybrid Magnolia × soulangeana  and the Magnolia x stellatas, pink or white blossoms on bare stems.  Then the later hybrids and the lilii floras. They mostly blossom from late spring to early summer. Waxy flowers ranging from white through pink to dark purple and even yellow.

Grandifloras make a useful evergreen alternative to conifers. Dark glossy leaves with large exotic white flowers in summer.  For some reason they are not widely grown in this country and we have to import them from Holland.  We bought a large batch last year and there are still a few left.

A point to remember is that magnolias are shallow rooted and hate to be disturbed so try not to under-plant them.

We have more than a dozen different varieties available at present including the coveted Magnolia liliiflora Nigra – and some really splendid specimens

Magnolia 'Susan' at Downside Nurseries

Magnolia ‘Susan’ ,an example of one of the many varieties of Magnolias at Downside Nurseries

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia) with thanks to RHS for image

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia) with thanks to RHS for image

Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' (black lily magnolia) at Downside Nurseries with thanks to RHS for the image

Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ (black lily magnolia) at Downside Nurseries with thanks to RHS for the image

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