Magnolia Fever!

I was gven a few seeds for unusual (to Southern Ontario) Magnolia seeds; I scarified them, potted them, planted the seedlings in a holding garden then transplanted them to Prince Edward County.  Now, about 12 years later, I get flowers every year from these trees.

Magnolia acuminata, Cucumber Magnolia, has beautiful yellow flowers mid spring.  They have a slight citrus scent and I call it my Lemon Magnolia.  Magnolia tripetala (Umbrella Magnolia) is likely poorly situated, being in the middle of a copse of Maple and Ash, but it too has flourished, this year producing a dozen or so spectacular, huge creamy blooms.  They start out looking like fat candles, standing straight up from the vortex of leaves, before the outer papery shell falls away t reveal the petals

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Colchicum

I really love these bulbs.  They come in a handful of varieties – white or pink or purple flowers.  I love this one – I had it in my Toronto backyard for about 10 years and it kept getting bigger and bigger.  Transplanted it this past spring and here it is in The County garden, under a Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)  that I also had in Toronto, started from seed.  In the spring large strap like leaves emerge and last for several months.  I planted eight or nine last fall – those are just starting to emerge, and another 10 this week which should come up by the end of the month.  I intend to keep top dressing with compost to ensure the soil stays nice and looseColchicum 'Purple Giant'.Colchicum Sept 27, 2014

Asters

One of the many reasons I love Autumn is the Asters that suddenly make a colourful appearance.  It’s weird, because they’ve been there all year, sending green stalks up through the meadow or at the edge of the field and sometimes even in the middle of the garden.  Yet come September when the blues and purples and whites start to appear…. they are a perfect antidote to the masses of bright goldenrod, and the perfect side dish to the tree and shrub leaves that are starting to turn yellow and brown.  Here are three of my favourites from the garden – Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster), Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (Sky Blue Aster) and Symphyotrichum ericoides (Heath Aster).Heath AsterSky Blue Aster New England Aster