Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Southern Magnolia

(Photo courtesy DavetheMage, via Wikimedia Commons)

Around here, the Southern Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) are blooming and I am thoroughly enjoying their huge, fragrant flowers.  I don't have a magnolia tree, you see, so I don't have to worry about leaf drop, beetles, scale, algal spot, root rot, etc.  Magnolias are large-leafed, evergreen trees that are the very symbol of the South.  Though they bloom best in full sun, they create their own deep, dark shade:  hardly anything will grow underneath them.  Truth be told, they look best (to me, at least) with nothing at all planted below.  These trees are very large -- up to 90 feet tall.  Even the dwarfs, like 'Little Gem,' can reach a mature height of 20 feet.  But it's a slow grower, so I think people plant them, assuming they won't be living in that house, when their ornamental shrub reaches the top of the roof.

(Photo courtesy Vilallonga, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Did you know that the largest Southern Magnolia in Montgomery County is in the Spring Trails development?  The largest Southern Magnolia in Texas graces Smith County, but it's only 66 feet tall.  The National Champion Southern Magnolia, in Smith County, Mississippi, is 122 feet tall!

1 comment:

  1. hello my name is julie. my mom died last month and i was hunting a magnolia flower to put on my sidebar of my blog and wondered if I could use your first photo with your permission. her favorite flower was a magnolia tree blossom.
    my blog is www.raisingthreeknightsandaprincess.com
    and my email is jworthy@marykay.com
    thank you for considering this.