May 26th, 2004
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
2004-05-26. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’.
2007-05-27. Loving this wet, cool spring.
Maybe because my Mom wore “White Shoulders”, I love the scent of the flowers old South: jasmine, gardenias, and magnolias. AJM, too, is impressed by magnolias and wanted me to plant one. But they grow into huge trees, casting a dense shade. I also worried that a magnolia would get chlorotic in our chalky soil and need special treatment, like azaleas (another plant I’ve avoided so far). This winter, however, I was impressed with some magnolias in an apartment landscaping along Victory Drive behind the Target on Ben White Blvd. They seemed green and healthy and the trees had a beautiful conical form.
So, after a little research on the net, I decided to buy ‘Little Gem’, a “dwarf” magnolia that is supposed to grow only to 12 to 20 feet tall. I found one at Floribunda Nursery and planted it last January. Today, although still quite young and only three feet tall, it produced three creamy flowers, each five inches across. The leaves are glossy green on the upper surface and a velvety-textured russet underneath. And the scent! sweet but also sharply lemon.
Zanthan Gardens History
Bought 3-gallon ‘Little Gem’ magnolia at Floribunda.
Fed, weeded and mulched with compost. Topped with cuttings from the Christmas tree and put the cover of flat rocks on top.
by M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas