This Magnolia 'Galaxy' opened its first flower a few days after I arrived. I noticed it for the first time on top of the compost heap, a few bright spots of pink rose over the hedge, standing brightly against an evening sky. Since then I have kept tabs on it, from the compost pile and other view points in the garden. It is a lovely specimen and a relatively young one, planted 15 or 20 years ago. In these photographs, the early morning light has hit the top of the branches and the rest of the tree is shaded by the yew hedge. This is one of those planting decisions (right plant, right spot) that must have surpassed even the highest expectations- it is perfect. You can see under the eaves of its branches lots of freshly turned earth and new plantings- this is the garden called Vietnam. Emma and James, two of the students, have been working on this area for months- completely redesigning the area with Fergus. They have made great headway in the three weeks since I arrived. I will hopefully do a post on Vietnam later this week.
Magnolia 'Galaxy' is a cross between M. liliflora 'Nigra' x M. sprengeri 'Diva.' It was released in 1980 and is hardy in zones 5-9.