Louis Raymond experiments in his own gardens like

a mad scientist, searching out plants that most people have

never seen before & figuring out how to make them perform.- The Boston Globe

…Louis Raymond ensures that trees can grow in Brooklyn…

or just about any other place where concrete consumes

the dirt and skyscrapers shield the sunshine.- USA Today


NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.


NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.


New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.


Plant Profiles

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Sunspire Magnolia in Bloom

Magnolia Sunspire overall 051315 640


Thanks to its exceptionally narrow habit, Sunspire magnolia is distinctive year-round. In early to mid-Spring, this pillar of a tree sports pale yellow flowers, capping its already strong performance with an astonishing floral cadenza. Ravishing!


Magnolia Sunspire for closeups 051315 group shot 640


Blossoms open over several weeks, with some buds just swelling while others have already fully flowered and then shed their petals. 


Magnolia Sunspire for closeups 051315 showing older and newer blossoms 640


The petals maintain their upward angle unlike those of so many other forms of Magnolia—southern magnolias and star magnolias in particular—whose petals become more and more horizontal or even reflexed as the flowers mature. Those blossoms are the epitome of voluptuousness verging on dishevelment, whereas these of Sunspire remain alert and, even, wary—like a flock of perching birds that might take flight any second.


Magnolia Sunspire blossom and Euonymus STD 051315 640


With such tidy and, a bit, tense energy, we can be all the more grateful that these large yellow flowers are in residence as long as they are. 


Magnolia Sunspire blossom interior 051516 640


The blossom interior is pure yellow, but the exterior shows the faintest blush of pink. At the base of the blossom's stalk, you can see one of the two emerging stems of leafy growth. 


Magnolia Sunspire blossom petal outside 051515 640


Most of the the tree's new vegetative stems can mature enough during this growing season to develop a flower bud at the tip by Fall. Buds that contain nascent flowers instead of just nascent leafy growth are much larger. Through the Winter, they assure us that next Spring's thrilling floral display is already in the works.



Here's how grow Sunspire magnolia. 

FacebookTwitterRSS Feed

Stay in touch!


Sign up for twice-monthly eNews, plus notification of new posts:


* indicates required