Monday, May 30, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: an unusual opportunity


A particularly wet weekend had the lower branches of our Magnolia macrophylla bending down to the point even I (at 5ft 3in) had to duck to walk under them. I had to admit it was time to at least prune the loopy bits off the main branches. The fact two of the three had big luscious flowers on them was a huge bonus and of course you know they went into a vase.

Andrew would have liked to remove the three lower branches in their entirety, I wasn't about to go for that.

The largest leaf on the bits we cut was just over 2ft long, not including the petiole.

The flowers are about 19" across.

I loved the opportunity to examine them up close, taking in the details...

And the subtle fragrance.

Their size was somewhat cartoonish, but in a good way (note the sleeping dog on the couch, she was not impressed).

This has been a very good year for flowers on the tree, it's simply covered in them. They've been opening for weeks now and there are still several in the swelling bud stage.

I'm joining up with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for Monday's In a Vase meme, click on over to see what other gardeners have created.

For my American readers I hope you'll take a moment this Memorial Day to remember those that have lost their lives in service to our country. It's so easy to get caught up in the day as a BBQ holiday that kicks off the beginning of summer. There's nothing wrong with enjoying those things, but I also want to specifically send out my appreciation to all the families that don't have their loved ones with them today, I am sorry and I thank you and your brave family members.

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

35 comments:

  1. Those magnolia flowers are just jaw-droppingly awesome. I have never, ever seen anything like them. Thanks so much for a)rescuing them b) posting them as a vase on Monday!

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    1. And thank you for stopping by!

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  2. "Holy Mackerel!" I said, when I saw that first photo in your post. I didn't realize those flowers got so big. Wonderful, just wonderful. Also, that second to last shot with the mirror is very creative.

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    1. It's kind of crazy how much bigger they look inside. Like when you bring home a piece of furniture that looked normal in the showroom - with it's high ceilings, big windows and ample space - only to realize it looks ridiculous in your house.

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  3. Happy Memorial Day to you Loree...an important day to remember all who have sacrificed their lives for us. When I saw your vase I was transfixed....wow what a huge gorgeous flower to grace your lovely mantle!

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    1. I'm so glad I got to enjoy them close-up!

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  4. I'm with Andrew on the pruning. Those next-highest branches will send out shoots to fill that gap.

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    1. The thing about pruning is you can always take away another branch later, but you can never get it back. I prefer to take it slow...

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  5. Unreal. The size of these flowers is unbelievable. The ones you picked are perfection.

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    1. For some reason I got a chuckle at the notion of picking them. I understand your word choice, one usually picks flowers. But these are way up in the sky! More like "lopped" (as in with the loppers).

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  6. That is a beautiful flower but the size is amazing. Don't think anything gets that big around here.

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    1. This one is said to be hardy to USDA Zone 5...does that work for you?

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  7. Those Magnolia flowers are incredible! Do you have a prediction as to how long they'll last in a vase? The flowers of my Magnolia grandiflora appear so high in the tree, I can seldom even get a decent photo of them, much less cut one. The mirror shot in juxtaposition to the framed print was very clever. Best wishes on this Memorial Day!

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    1. They lasted 3 days...and then turned brown, which I still thought was beautiful. Hope you enjoyed the holiday Kris!

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  8. They're such interesting blooms, from the tight buds to the long slender graceful vases they become through this stage all the way to those interesting cones with pink seeds. The next to last image with the mirror and magnolia print is truly amazing. Very special Memorial Day reflection in words and image! Lila was simply pondering the meaning of it all. I usually fall asleep when doing that too.

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    1. From one M. macro grower to the other...yes! You described its stages perfectly. That image with the mirror was inspired by having dinner and looking up to see the flowers in the mirror, next to the print. I had this strange sense of my life coming full circle. I bought those prints at an antique shop in Spokane in 2001, 15 years later they're hanging in my house in Portland along with lovely Magnolia flowers from a tree in my garden...

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  9. wow, everything about that tree is stunning. I can't wait for when mine gets it's first flower!

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    1. I guess it didn't happen this year then? Maybe next year...

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  10. I love Magnolia flowers. Yours are magnificent.

    Is that tree going to make your back garden full shade one day? It looks like it's just getting started in the growth department.

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    1. It definitely makes the patio shadier at certain times, but due to the placement of a couple taller trees in the yard of the neighbor to the south it hasn't really changed the overall feel too much.

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  11. Surreal, Loree. A very special plant and flower indeed.

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    1. I'm so happy to have planted it here our first summer!

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  12. Holy cow! Those are unreal! Never seen anything like them before.

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  13. Good grief Loree - they are huge! I had to smile at you having to duck the lower branches, as I am shorter than you (by a few inches!!) and every so often I have to go round the garden and cut the overhanging growth that I just saunter under but other's don't!!

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    1. Ha! "Good grief" sums it up well. My 6ft 2in husband definitely experiences the garden differently than I do.

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  14. oops - don't know how that apostrophe got into my last comment. I had clicked send before I realised!!

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  15. Stunning flowers, something to look at from a distance and up close.

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    1. Happy to have had the opportunity to do so up close.

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  16. Cathi LamoreuxMay 31, 2016

    The first time I saw these blooms in person was at the Legacy Good Sam garden when I was there to take Horticultural Therapy classes. The tree and the blooms were/are massive! Thanks for posting about these gorgeous flowers.

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    1. I first saw the leaves during a walk through Hoyt Arboretum when we moved here in 2004. The first birthday after we bought our house (July 2005) Andrew got me a gift certificate to Cistus and I found this tree, a stick with 3 huge leaves...I was thrilled.

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  17. Clifford, my how you've grown! What a gorgeous boy.

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  18. Gorgeous! They are the perfect complement to your living room!

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  19. My goodness! That is absolutely amazing! Such a huge flower, and so pretty! I can understand it must have been great to examine it up close. Thank you for sharing!

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