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Fairy magnolias have a real presence in the garden, giving both gravitas and elegance. Equally good, but different, is the Magnolia ‘White Caviar’. A lighter glossy green leaf and striking flowers give it a lighter feel in the garden. All these Magnolias are versatile (full sun to part shade). Not too big, but big enough to screen or make a 2m hedge.
Wonderfully free flowering magnolias (formerly Michelia), these are laden with fragrant flowers over late winter and spring, contrasting beautifully with the dark foliage. They came in three colours at the moment: White flowers first, then Blush and finally Cream. All flower for around 10 weeks, giving an enchanting full flowering display. Relatively fast growing, sun to part shade. Will grow fastest in a good free draining soil. Bushy and evergreen, fully frost hardy, great as a specimen shrub or as a screen. Minimum maintenance, no need to prune, but if you want to – then prune after flowering, mulch and feed in spring, watch, smell and enjoy!
They can be kept as a specimen pot plant, and if needed can be cut back hard. Keep the water up to it over the hot summer months. They combines excellently with Camellias, Azaleas and Pieris. The foliage contrasts well with trunks of Silver Birch.
Another excellent hybrid magnolia (M. yunnanensis crossed with M. figo) is Magnolia ‘White Caviar’. This has lovely glossy green leaves and is laden with cream flowers lit up with striking purple stamens. This has enough wow factor to be a specimen plant, but its habit also lends itself to making an excellent hedge or screening plant. Will take full sun, to part shade. It is on the southeast corner of my house, and is in a well lit position, but gets no direct sun, and is growing wonderfully well. Clearly an adaptable plant.