In the Garden:
Magnolia 'Vulcan' is tolerant of most soils and will grow from zones 4-9. It is available from Wayside Gardens.
I am writing this on January 23 just as a major cold front is sweeping in. I have watered the yard in preparation for the cold and am debating about taking in some orchids. Most of my orchids have been attached to trees for years, coming through the 1989 freeze in good shape. I have some in bloom not attached to trees that I will probably move. It is about 76 now but the cloud line just went through, and cold winds are to follow. We expect temperatures in the mid 30s in town and possibly 30 or the upper 20s inland. Very scary for the tropical nurseries and winter vegetable and fruit growers here.
The weather does make one realize that we can coast along as tropical for a good number of years, and then a freeze will bring back reality. The Florida Keys are truly tropical and have never experienced a freeze.
I checked out the 2003 Mailorder Gardening Association awards and was taken with a beautiful, big, blooming magnolia with deep red flowers. Magnolia 'Vulcan' is offered through Wayside Gardens (http://www.waysidegardens.com, 800-845-1124). The tree is supposed to grow to about 40 feet in 10 years and achieve a 20-foot spread. This beauty was bred by Felix Jury, a famous name in magnolia circles with many new introductions to his credit. Jury hails from New Zealand. This beauty is tolerant of most soils and will grow from zones 4 to 9. Blooms occur in early to mid-spring and promise to produce a big show wherever planted.
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