I know we aren’t “supposed” to grow Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) here in hot, dry, alkaline central Texas, but many will tell you that the dwarf variety, “Little Gem” is acceptable.
If you love the look of the old south and all the romance evoked by these glorious trees and the lush gardens in which they are usually found, you will find Little Gem much more than acceptable.
Our recent rains have prompted a flush of blooms all over our Little Gem, and the scent is just heavenly. I walk out to the middle of the yard and stand there just to take in the aroma.
It stresses a little in the drought, but then many trees do, even our natives sometime show their displeasure with our unrelenting summers.
In anticipation of another La Nina summer, I think I will fertilize or compost mine now to give it a little extra boost going into the heat. After all the enjoyment it has given us, I think it deserves a little extra TLC.
Thou art, as rising from thy bower of green,
Those dark and glossy leaves so thick and full,
Thou standest like a high-born forest queen
Among thy maidens clustering round so fair,–
I love to watch thy sculptured form unfolding,
And look into thy depths, to image there
A fairy cavern, and while thus beholding,
And while thy breeze floats o’er thee, matchless flower,
I breathe the perfume, delicate and strong,
That comes like incense from thy petal-bower;
My fancy roams those southern woods along,
Beneath that glorious tree, where deep among
The unsunned leaves thy large while flowercups hung!
– Christopher Pearce Cranch,
Poem to the Magnolia Grandiflora