Some of our most exquisite flowers are currently in bloom and many of them are in elegant pure whites and from plants rarely seen in this region. White flowers are a favorite to use near outdoor seating and entertainment areas as they literally glow at dusk. Most are also very fragrant too — a very important aspect to consider in good garden design. Here are some to search for at Powell Gardens and for use in your own garden.
The magnificent Ashe Magnolia (Magnolia ashei) flowers are almost 8 inches long in bud and open out on their second day. This small tree is found wild only in the Florida Panhandle but is hardy as far north as Chicago! Look for Powell Gardens’ tree below the south bridge in the Rock & Waterfall Garden where the wonderfully scented flowers can be easily viewed. Its huge tropicalesque leaves have a silvery underside and are simply stunning in a breeze, but this tree always needs a sheltered, wooded site so it will not get too wind whipped! It’s one of the finest trees for a secluded patio space and available by mail order from places like Pine Ridge Gardens or Fairweather Gardens.
The wonderfully true white flowers of the Charles Coates Magnolia (Umbrella Magnolia M. tripetala x Oyama Magnolia M. sieboldii) is another rarity in bloom in the Rock & Waterfall Garden with luscious tropical looking leaves adorning each flower. This tree is also hard to find — we got ours from Fairweather Gardens about a decade ago.