May 15, 2007


Magnolia Grandiflora 'Edith Bogue '
A Southern Belle in a Northern Climate

I was so taken back by the news that my mouth was agape for a least a minute and all I could say was " Well, I never ! " An acquaintance was telling me she knew of a place in her neighborhood where a Southern magnolia was growing and that the fragrance was so great you could smell it from the sidewalk even though the tree was a pretty good distance away .

For reasons of privacy I cannot reveal the location but can assure you that the magnolia not only exists very happily there, but blooms as well. I also learned that the cultivar, ' Edith Bogue ' will survive in Zone 5 if given a sheltered, protected site. Another cultivar, ' Victoria ' is also hardy in our area.

My question now is where am I going to find space in my small garden for Edith ? She will ultimately grow 30 ' tall and 20 ' wide. I won't think about it now. After all, tomorrow is another day.


  1. Well I never either ! Are you quite sure ? Are you pulling our Yankee leg, Scarlett ?

  2. No I'm not Brenda. As a matter of fact the Southern Magnolia in question is ten years old. I couldn't believe it either but I made a site visit and saw it for myself.

  3. That must be some cultivar - and some microclimate, Carolyn! I'll bet you really enjoyed being in the presence of wisteria and magnolia! Happy Bloom Day to you~

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Thanks. It's actually Chinese Wisteria, Annie and you're right about the microclimate - I'm within walking distance of Lake Michigan and as you probably know in the winter it's "warmer by the Lake " and in the summer it's " cooler by the Lake. "

    I really do enjoy wisteria and magnolia. It seems that people are sentimental about the flowers and plants they grew up with.

  5. Carolyn,

    I will have to remember this - my hubbie is from Tennessee and I'm positive he would flip if he saw a magnolia tree outside. But I'm with you -- where to put it?

  6. HI Carolyn--

    I am thinking of planting a Magnolia Grandiflora here in Chicago--
    I have been told that planting it in a place where it is protected from the winds from the west was most important. Is this enough? Any other input on what you meant by "sheltered, protected site" would be most appreciated.

  7. Hi Danny,

    A sheltered, protected area is one that is not subject to bitter cold winds in the winter. An open western exposure should indeed be avoided for a Southern magnolia.
    If you ( or your next door neighbors ) have mature trees around the perimeter of the garden they would provide some protection from cold winter wind .

    The Magnolia Grandiflora growing here in Chicago was planted in the side yard between two houses and had an eastern exposure.


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