A New Zealand Gardener's Guide
Photographs by Derek Hughes
David Bateman Ltd
MAGNOLIAS are surely
one of the most beautiful of all deciduous flowering trees, their
bold flowers carried on bare stems in late winter and spring. But
their lush foliage, striking form and woolly buds ensure that these
are not just fleeting seasonal beauties, but wonderful specimen
Barrett is clearly a mad-keen magnolia enthusiast, and her passion
is apparent in the lively text. Her writing style is a joy - no-nonsense
and lacking the stuffiness that sometimes seeps into specialist
books of this nature.
Derek Hughes' photographs
are gorgeous too, capturing the glory of the cup-shaped soulangeana
types through to the delicate star-shaped blooms of the Magnolia
stellata types and the glossy green foliage and creamy flowers
of the evergreen species.
There is a wealth of
practical advice for planting, from choosing the best site for these
stunning trees, to the optimum soil conditions for both deciduous
and evergreen varieties.
Find out how to landscape
with magnolias with tips for small gardens, large gardens, shady
corners and courtyards. And if you're wondering what to plant with
your new trees, there are loads of suggestions for groundcovers,
shrubs and other trees that go well with magnolias.
If you want to grow your
own trees, check out the propagation chapter to learn how to raise
magnolias from both seed and cuttings (although the author warns
that she believes this should be left to expert horticulturists
with specialist equipment.)
especially liked the chapters titled For Those Who Can Wait
and For Those Who Cannot Wait - covering suitable
hybrids and species for patient gardeners and those of us who prefer
instant gratification. The Jury hybrids are great for fast effects,
and Rosemary shares her favourite varieties for classy flowers in
cream, pink and deep cerise.
Rare and special magnolias
also feature, from the tulip-like Magnolia amoena from
China to the spectacular creamy-flowered Magnolia delavayi,
which is grown mainly for its dramatic evergreen foliage.
All in all, an excellent
book which makes a fascinating read while imparting an incredible
amount of knowledge.
Gardener, Issue 96, April 11-24, 2002, Page 28
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH