More In The Way Of Magnolia

We have had rain all day.  Our overnight forecast calls for temps in the twenties, maybe an inch of snow. Suddenly, I am thinking about the prospect of ice in the drive, and terra cotta pots frozen to the ground before I have had a chance to bring them in.  Nature can be so abrupt. 

I have had no end of problems recently getting WordPress to save my drafts-much less be charitable about publishing them. This daily girl had gone to regularly intermittent. I know the heart of my computer is a stew of symbols and mathematics completely uninterested in my issues.  Trying to figure out what has gone awry-maddening.  

I did recognize this, and pled my case to Jonathon Hofley-his company Motor City Publishing does lots of work for me.  How he managed, I have no idea-but he did get my post to publish earlier about the magnolia.  Many thanks, J.  All that acting out, and the threat of a precipitous change in the weather makes me want to stay on the magnolia topic.

Adversity-some say this builds character.  My take-adversity defines a gardener.  Poor soil, irregular water, less than perfect drainage, too much shade, less than optimal conditions, optimal conditions that still disappoint, severe weather, sun scald, insect invasions-need I say more.  Every gardeners dream boat garden suffers some harsh dose of reality in one way or another.  But true gardeners keep on gardening-this I am sure of. 

My clients cope as I do with the coming of the cold. I try my best to warm their porches. I don’t really see my garden now; it is dark, coming and going to work.    Blankets of magnolia leaves do plenty to turn away the cold. This is the closest I can get to gardening now.  

Reindeer moss, bracket fungus, berry stems, birch stems and some chestnuts keep a partridge company in this wreath.  It is fine to hang outdoors.  Good quality double-faced satin ribbon is quite rugged and color-fast outdoors.  All natural colors fade with exposure to sunlight, but this ribbon will still be bright in March.  You can tell this wreath has begun to dry-the leaves are changing shape.  The flat fresh leaves become curved and dimensional as they transpire. 

No matter the trouble or the weather, gardeners invariably say hello, and welcome guests.  Large wreaths on these massive gate piers help to soften the appearance of all of the hard surfaces.       

Cut magnolia branches-they have their place.  This home dating back to the 1850’s-magnolia branches seemed an appropriate material.  More than appropriate-beautiful.  The renovation to the house was not really finished, but no matter.      

This magnolia wreath is four years old-vintage. Some new leaves, a new bow-it is just as charming as ever.  Dry magnolia is very brittle; old wreaths need very careful handling and storage. 

This look at my front door is not long off.  Imagine how bleak it would be without the lights-and the magnolia.


  1. julia hofley says

    stunning and oh, so inspirational.
    dec 1 and the first snowfall! this holiday entrance post is perfectly timed!
    thanks for the motivation to tap into our creative side.
    we know where to come for a creative shot in the arm…

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