Bigleaf and big tree

The Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) is tall and gawky, and its enormous size makes it undeniably inappropriate for most properties. But, I cannot think of a single tree in this garden that pleases me more. In flower, it’s wondrous, though the huge blooms are sparse in number compared to other flowering trees. I suspect that many…

An old spruce

The old columnar blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Fastigiata’) is ready to give up. In twenty years it has gone from nearly full sun to part shade, and the Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) and a pink flowering ‘Satomi’ Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’) have further crowded it. The lower limbs are nearly bare, and I figure…

Native trees

I’ve planted nearly a dozen magnolias of varying sorts in my garden, yet none are native to northwestern Virginia. There are hybrids and cultivars from east Asia, and two that are native to the United States. The Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla, below) is native to states just to the west of the Blue Ridge mountains,…