"How 'bout this weather?!"
This page is Sponsored by:
Some people mean this as a rhetorical question.
However, when the winter weather is truly odd, as it has been
this very warm week when we're writing, that casual comment nets
Isn't it?! D. transplanted a lilac
yesterday because, why not?!
Well, yeah! And I barbequed
last night, too!
You bet. We're on our way out to rake
leaves from a callery pear that we couldn't get to in fall! Going
to be 'way ahead in spring, maybe!
It's amazing. We were able to go out
and get all the night lighting fixtures checked, bulbs replaced...
if this holds we're going back to ream out the connections,
I love it. Hey: My sister can use all
this mulch we have left over. If I can use your pick-up, we can
take it over and spread it there...
We agreed... and moved a Magnolia
The star magnolia (M. stellata) is better
equipped to handle cold than most of its bigger cousins. It's hardy
to zone 4 winters and is less susceptible to spring frost damage,
which often blight those other magnolias' blooms.
Still, it's a
tree that does bloom quite early in the year, when a frost could
ruin its show. We'd decided to move this tree (right) from a spot
it was destined to outgrow, into a roomier place that would also
give it a good hedge against frost damage -- bigger trees between
it and the cold northwest spring wind.
One snowy, windy day in very late fall, we did it. It was
not an ideal time. Many authorities warn against moving plants in
late fall, or when leaves are still falling. Some specifically
list Magnolia as one that is better moved in spring and
which has a very sensitive "do not disturb" root system.
We figured, "What they hey! It can't stay where it is, and
here we are with the time to do it!"
That was years ago. It made the move. But even if it hadn't,
look what we would have missed: See that beautiful root system?
(Below.) What a joy to peel the soil away to find such a lively
growth. We love to see a plant take such a great root system with
it. (This is pretty dense, as Magnolia roots go. Some tree
species' have far more fine roots.)
If we'd played by the rules, we wouldn't have seen it. We
wouldn't have learned from the experience how far such a tree's
roots can spread in just two years. We saw how big the
zone is where we should "take care around the magnolia's
fleshy, easily broken and bruised" roots.
We do act contrary to advice sometimes, but we watch and
learn from the plants themselves, and become better
It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur
more frequently in memory than in life. - P.D. James -
Moving this tree and many other episodes on
this website happened at the sessions called Garden
By Janet & Steven. Sponsor Kerry Holley says of these