Posts tagged Magnolia ‘Daybreak’

A Birds Eye View 2012

Are you all addicted to seeing me in high places? Do you like the idea of me on my roof, bracing myself against the wind? Come on, want the truth here.

The third most popular post ever, (about my garden) is this one. My first is this, makes sense, people want to get ideas for Christmas, who better to come to then a florist. This one, I was a bit surprised about, I think it is just starting to get popular, however I have had mine for a couple of years, and just love it. But number three, lucky number three. This is the one where I climb up on the roof, and risk life and limb to show you (and me) a bird’s eye view of the garden. Of course, the best time to do so is in early spring. I have a lot of big, old trees around the house and garden, when the leaves are out they really screen it. But now, you can see every detail.  For me, it is a great way to plan out my garden, does something look wrong or out-of-place or scale from the roof. I am always surprised how small the garden areas look from the roof, when I am in them they seem enormous. Take the Kitchen garden for example. Looks tiny doesn’t it. The space actually measures 20 feet x 20 feet, that is actually larger than our whole backyard when we lived in our first house.

I had really hoped by now, (this is the 6th spring for us in Kilbourne Grove), there would be more accomplished.  I guess it is not too bad, after all we have never lived in the house full-time, only weekends for the first 4 years and then the last two, in Barbados. How much can you really accomplish, not actually living there, all the weeding and lawn cutting to take care of, never mind life and relaxation, (after all it is the weekend). My father kept cautioning me, (every spring), don’t make so many gardens that you can’t maintain them all, and I had no intention of listening to him, lol. However, a job transfer accomplished what parental advise never could. There has been no time to design anything new, although certainly in my mind’s eye I have.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 6th,

Front Garden

Not many changes in the front garden, although I did add a Cornus ‘Golden Shadows’ to the top right hand corner. This Cornus becomes a tiered beauty of chartreuse and green variegated leaves, and should add a lovely light look against the dark green of the cedar hedge. You can hardly see the Daybreak and Magic Fire here, they will have to get a lot larger to be seen from the roof at this time of year.

Front Garden

Can you see the dark dirt spot, just under the maple leaves, that is where Golden Shadows is planted? I can’t see it either, the darn program cut off the end of my photo and I can’t figure out how to change it, trust me, it is there!

Lime Walk

Lime Walk April 2010

Lime Walk

Lime Walk 2012

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are even thicker this year, although they are just about finished, what a difference an early spring makes. . On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I still need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn. I love seeing these two photos together, just when I feel like my hedges are not growing, here is some hard evidence that they are.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Serviceberry Allee 2010

The Serviceberry Allee

This is the hardest one to see, hidden at the back of the garden, and a huge maple branch in the way.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.  I finally added the last two serviceberry to the Allee, for a total of 11.  Now, it is finished, except for the growing part, tee hee.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Flora Glade 2010

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Except for the plants (hopefully) getting larger nothing was changed here. Although I am in the process of moving the path, filled it in on the left hand side, and slowly changing it on the right. Moved the perennials last fall, and in the process of moving the bulbs after they flower. Hopefully I will be able to finish it in the fall. The stone paths and the pedestals certainly make a difference in the way it looks just 2 years ago. If you want to read about me (Ian) building the pedestals, you can here.


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A Birds Eye View 2011

This has to be one of my most popular posts. I am not sure why, did everyone like the idea of me risking life and limb,to climb up on my roof? I know why I like it, I get such a great view of my garden, and I am hoping, in a few years, when the hedges start to thicken,you will not be able to see from one room into the other (except in strategic places). This will be the only way to see the whole garden at one time.  It is nice to be able to look back over the years and (hopefully) see lots of changes. Last year, I took the photos in early April, so not a lot was in flower at that point. This year I had to wait until early May, I don’t think Ian would be happy about me climbing on the roof without him there to supervise. So you can see the garden is much further along.

In the front, the ‘Magic Fire’ witch hazel is placed against the cedar backdrop.  The scilla at the bottom of the photo surround the ‘Daybreak’ magnolia.

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are thickening up. On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden in closer detail.

Maybe one day I will learn how to post photos side by side, so you (and I)can see the difference from one year to the other.

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Up, Up In the Air

To all those lovely people who wanted to see more pictures from my roof, here you go! I am remembering who you are, yes, you Rebecca, all of you who wanted me to take my life in my hands again, (ok, it is a flat roof, so not that dangerous, but it sounds good) just to satisfy your curiosity!

It looks quite different from early April. Then the grass was quite brown, now it has greened up quite nicely.

The Croquet Lawn

My Daybreak had another bloom, yay!!! Can you see it?

Look how tiny she is, poor girl.

You can actually see the linden trees in the Lime Walk. You can also see an old wild apple growing back from its stump. This was cut down before we bought the property. I haven’t worked up the nerve to tell Ian that he has to dig it up, yet.

The Lime Walk

Notice how nice it looks with the Deliverance house gone, still have heard nothing.

The Yew Garden

Still have not decided what to do here yet, now it is an outdoor dining room.

The Serviceberry Allee

This is one of the hardest spaces to see with the trees out in leaf. You can see the foxglove are just starting to flower.

The Kitchen Garden and The Flora Glade

The Kitchen Garden is the garden furthest from the house, so very hard to see.

A closeup of the Flora Glade. This is the most flowery of the gardens. That is not a black smoke, just the red maple.


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When we purchased Kilbourne Grove in May 2006, the previous owner left us a housewarming gift. It was a Magnolia ‘Daybreak’. I had not heard of this magnolia before, but it was a very welcome gift, I do have a weakness for them. At that time, it was a very small tree, standing (with the pot), about 4 feet in height, with three branches from the centre trunk.

We planted it in a prominent spot at the  front of our house so the neighbours could enjoy the blossoms as well as the fabulous view we had from the bay window in our front parlour (I don’t know why we call it the front parlour, except the real estate agent used this term, and we have not come up with something better).

That first winter was very hard on the magnolia (and on us too, but that is another story). One of the three branches broke off the main trunk, from the weight of the snow, so now we were two.

The next year, it leafed out, but no flowers. The same happened in 2008, and 2009, but this year, something magical happened.

Two buds, there were two buds, I was ecstatic. They were gorgeous.

The following weekend I arrived to find only one bud, the other one laying on the ground. Who had dared to desecrate my magnolia? If I found out, heads would roll!

I watched!

And it began to unfold.

Now fully open, you can see how much she has lightened up from the buds, which looked quite red.

I don’t want to blind you with a full length shot, but if you must see it…. Read the rest of this entry »

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