Everybody’s Favorite

“Everybody’s Favorite”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Judging from the hits on the posting I did last year, Japanese Magnolias must be everybody’s favorite flowering tree.  That entry has been my most popular one – over 3,000 hits so far since its debut on February 21st.  Everyday there is someone who looks at that particular one, and I still get questions about these very pretty and early-blooming trees.  I find this very surprising because while I think these are lovely, I didn’t realize how many people must really like this particular tree.


This year the Japanese Magnolias started blooming about two weeks ago, and in New Orleans, about 30 miles south of us, they have been blooming even longer.  There are many in the gardens of the houses that I pass on my way to work, and all the trees are covered in blooms.  When you see one of these trees in full bloom in late winter when most everything else is bare or dead, you realize that nothing could be more lovely, as these photos of my next door neighbor’s tree shows.









  1. Pam Kersting said,

    January 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    That truly is stunning! I’m in North Carolina and ours should be blooming in late March I think. Do you happen to know the botanical name of that plant? Is it Magnolia soulangiana? Saucer Magnolia? Please let me know, Thanks! Pam

    • Jan said,

      January 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm

      Yes, Pam it is Magnolia soulangiana. Since you are much farther north than we are, it is understandable that you will have to wait until March for your blooms, but you can enjoy ours now.

  2. jodi said,

    January 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    To give you some idea of how different our climates are…my M. stellata will be blooming in late May, early June. I know of people who grow M. soulangiana but they live in milder areas of the province than I do, or have real good microclimates; the wind here in winter would do no good to a saucer magnolia.

  3. Racquel said,

    January 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    A truly spectacular tree in bloom Jan! My neighbor has one that I’ve coveted for years. 🙂

  4. nancybond said,

    January 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Oh, those magnificent blooms! No wonder your post was so popular. They’re gorgeous!

  5. Phillip said,

    January 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Gosh, they bloom early for you. I can’t wait to see mine – it is a sure sign of spring!

  6. Jan said,

    January 24, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Jodi, while you may not grow m. soulganiana, I feel m. stellata is just as pretty in a different way. We had one on our property when we moved here, but, unfortunately, it died after a few years. The stellatas are only now being planted here more widely, and I think, they too, are wonderful, delicate signs of spring arriving soon.

    Racquel, I love the dark purple ones that are popular now. They seem to stand out more esp. when small and have few flowers. My neighbor’s trees are over 40 years old and are the lighter pink variety which is lovely when you have a large tree.

    Thanks, Nancy. When the flowers are open all over the tree, they remind me of fragile pink teacups. At this time of year when these are blooming, it is understandable why so many people want to plant them.

    Phillip, they are blooming early this year. Last year it was late February. I was afraid the freeze we had a few days ago would burn the flowers, but that didn’t happen, thank goodness.

  7. fairegarden said,

    January 24, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Hi Jan, no worder it is everybody’s favorite, it is gorgeous and your close up photo of the inside of the bloom is exquisite! Blooms on leafless trees or shrubs are always magical. 🙂

  8. Dave said,

    January 24, 2009 at 7:03 am

    They are beautiful trees. The lack of leaves just enhances the blooms in the spring.

  9. linnie said,

    January 24, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I have to admit this is one of my favorites also. The blooms look spectacular in flower arrangments. The only time I placed in a garden show for an arrangment was when I used blooms from a tree that belonged to one of my neighbors. I always enjoy your blog Jan.

    Linnie in Destrehan, LA 1/24/09

  10. Jan said,

    January 24, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Frances, I think you are correct in saying leafless flowering trees or shrubs seem just a bit more spectacular.

    Dave, it is the architectural look of the branches that also makes this tree so special. The bare branches have such a sculptural look, and when flowers are added, it is outstanding in the garden.

    Linnie, I never thought about making an arrangement with the flowers, but I bet they would be fantastic in one. Congratulations on your winning one. Thanks for the kind words; they are appreciated.

  11. Mary Beth said,

    January 24, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I appreciate flowers in January more than any other time of the year. We can’t grow Magnolias here (a few Saucer Magnolias survive but our soil is too alkaline). Just Beautiful!

  12. Jan said,

    January 24, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Mary Beth, I agree about enjoying flowers now when so few things are blooming. I feel the same way about the late fall bloomers, too.

  13. Brenda Kula said,

    January 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I can see why everyone seems to favor them. They are quite lovely. I haven’t seen those in my neighborhood. Will have to look harder and find out if they’re native.

    • Jan said,

      January 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

      Brenda, these aren’t native to this country, but they are very popular. Maybe they are not blooming in your area yet. Ours seem to be blooming very early this year.

  14. Jon said,

    January 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Nice show….lucky you to have them in bloom already… my dark purple one has not even shown any color yet….but hopefully will in a few weeks. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving your nice comment.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  15. Janet said,

    January 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Magnolias of all varieties are becoming my favorites…from the Star to the Sweetbay and every one in between. Thanks for a glimpse of what we will see in a few months.

  16. Jan said,

    January 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Jon, I know you are not that far north of me that your magnolias are not even showing color yet. How surprising. This week is supposed to be a warm one for us – highs in the mid to upper 70’s, so we may be having more things blooming.

    Janet, I, too, am coming to appreciate the different magnolias more and more. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: