As foretold by Br. Placidus of Atchison Kansas, commenting on my last post, my garden has paid little heed to my keenings against its early appearance, and the sequential progression of spring blooms has begun against my sage advise and consent. Thankfully, it has not yet stormed enough to damage the blooms of Magnolia stellata, which reigns beautiful and fragrant in my garden only four days after I saw the first bud break. Therefore, despite the insubordination of my garden, I have to admit that I am nonetheless pleased that it has forced me to abandon my seclusion within the house and drawn me outside into activity, fresh air, and ultraviolet radiation.
I hope to see further exuberance from this mature Star Magnolia before the rain predicted for Saturday stains its petals with brown rot and moots the warm scent. Right now I'm thankful that, as the good Brother suggested, I've already enjoyed more uninterrupted days of M. stellata than I can expect in a typical Kansas spring. This shrub/tree never seems to get to full display before another cold spell or snow or freezing rain front strikes here. This year, however, spring is early but shows no sign of backsliding in any long range forecast. I'll be content as long as the hard freezes stay away.
The reign of the Star Magnolia, however, is quickly being overrun by the peasants of my spring garden. You can see, below, the backdrop to the magnolia of three forsythia in full bloom, in this case Forsythia hybrid 'Meadowlark', a 1986 introduction of Arnold Arboretum in cooperation with North Dakota State and South Dakota State Universities. I have several other forsythia in bloom here and there, and they are accompanied and accented by early blooming daffodils hither and yon. Yellow is most definitely the main theme of my early spring garden, with a splash of blue added by diminutive Scilla siberica.
If you look very closely at the last photo, you'll see my raison du jour for being in the garden at the time of the photo. Behind the garden beds, in the distant blue sky, you can see the plume of smoke from a distant prairie burn, which was also exactly what was happening 10 feet behind me as this picture was taken. I spent yesterday dragging hoses around my property and, in cooperation with my neighbors, burning the prairie clean of debris and invasive plants. A long and tiring day, but I was rejuvenated by my moments spent visiting with this Magnolia, buried nose deep in its creamy-white petals.