But, it's a good yellow kind of day. I was stupendously cheered up last night when I noticed the first few blooms on 'Harison's Yellow' were open. The recent rose massacre, both from winter and my culling of rose rosette-infected roses, has been dragging down my spirit in the garden, but now as the early roses come storming back, I'm feeling my strength return minute by minute. Honestly, who could not look on the sunny yellow face of 'Harison's Yellow' and not be smitten by joy? I'd normally caution you not to sniff this offspring of R. foetida too closely, but in the vicinity of this bush last night, all I could smell was its sweetness. Perfection, thy name is 'Harison's Yellow'. At least as long as I don't have to prune you or fight those vicious thorns to cut out deadwood!
My 'Yellow Bird' Magnolia also continues to bloom and please the dickens out of me. I've got to tell you, the longer this tree is in my garden, the more impressed I am by its winter hardiness, drought resistance and stamina. There are probably places in the country where it won't thrive, but I strongly recommend it for the Midwest. It originally started out for me 5 years ago as a 3 foot tall seedling, but it has now topped me in height and is 6 feet or better, finally outgrowing the top of its protected cage. Additionally, the bloom period this year has been exceptionally long. She started blooming this year around April 7th. I took the picture on the left, below, on April 17th, just after I felt the tree was reaching its peak bloom and right after a rainstorm knocked off some petals. Yet a week later, on April 24th as shown at the right, she is still blooming and just last night I was admiring the dozen remaining blossoms. I apologize for the cage, but if you look closely towards the bottom of the tree, you'll notice the bare stems where the deer "pruned" the buds that were outside the woven-wire fence. It's a necessity to protect this tree for a few more years.
As I've said before, the "experts" seem to think the emerging green leaves distract from the beauty of the soft yellow flowers, but I disagree. "Yellow Bird" has light green glossy leaves, which in my mind provide much needed contrast to the blooms and I greatly prefer this form to my bush magnolias who bloom earlier on bare stems. "To each their own," as the saying goes. Happily, "Yellow Bird" lives on in Kansas.