There’s no particular hurry, but I am somewhat mystified that two early flowering magnolias ‘Merrill’ and ‘Royal Star’ have not flowered yet in this very mild early March. On occasion, both have bloomed in late February when the flowers are prone to damage from frosts and freezes that are common into the early weeks of spring. Today, with few chances for even light frost in the forecast, flowers of the magnolias are unlikely to show even the slightest brown edges.
‘Merrill’ is first to flower, followed in a day or two by ‘Royal Star’, but at the top of the hill and down the street I see neighbors’ Star magnolias in full bloom. With shade in most parts of this garden, and positioning at the low point between hills where cold settles, most early trees flower later than others in the neighborhood. I’m not complaining, the garden has more than its fair share of blooms, but the magnolias are early favorites and it seems this would be the year to see early blooms, not late.
Another early flowering tree, ‘Okame’ cherry is blooming right on schedule, and I’m also curious why it’s not earlier. There is slight issue that I’ve just tidied up around the koi pond, and now the light pink blooms are drifting down to cover the water. It’s lovely, and not that I’m overly concerned with neatness, but once I make the effort to clean something it’s a bit disturbing to see it a mess the next morning.
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I believe that ‘Royal Star’ was my favorite of only three star magnolias we grew back when we grew magnolias. Sadly, they are not very happy here, and did not sell well. They are enviable in other regions.