When the bright white magnolias appear on the dark green trees every May, they remind me of my Mississippi cousin, whose birthday is in May, and as a teen, performed a dramatic reading from Steele Magnolias for her state Junior Miss talent, and who later, I made magnolia wreaths for the doors of her May church wedding. How’s that for a Mississippi Belle?
This is a similar wreath from Hayneedle.com
The beautiful Southern Magnolia Grandiflora are the same creamy white color of grits and pearls. Sturdy blossoms, yet if you mistreat them ever so slightly, they’ll bruise.
Before last weekend’s storm in Fairhope, we had a bumper crop of magnolias in bloom, dotting the landscape of South Alabama, and most of the Gulf Coast with large white blossoms. Many of them remain, but most have taken a harsh beating from strong winds and heavy rain.
The quintessential Grandiflora is the state tree of Mississippi and also represents the state flower for Louisiana. Mississippi holds the record for the largest Grandiflora tree which stands 122 feet tall in Smith County.
I snapped these photos here in Fairhope a few days before the rain began. Many people don’t like magnolias in their yards because their thick canopy prevents grass from growing underneath, and the large, dense leaves can be a problem to rake. It’s always nice for the neighbor across the street to have the magnolia so you can see it from your window without having all the upkeep for yourself, and run clip a few branches every now and then for Christmas. Of course, you take them some banana bread as a thank-you!
I love seeing the magnolias in bloom, and for some reason, I think they look best paired with shiny silver containers. Two classics. So nice.
On Display: Steel Magnolias – Celebrating the Strength of a Mother’s Love – Works by more than 50 area artists in a wide variety of media, including oils, acrylic, watercolor, photography, wood, jewelry, pottery, glass, textiles. Cathedral Square Gallery (612 Dauphin St)Â Tue – Sat, 11 AM – 5 PM; Sun, 11 AM – 3 PM. 251-694-0278.