Saturday, July 6, 2019

Special Tree

If you've been following along, you'll know that in February of 2018 we had to have our probably-as-old-as-our-house Cedar tree removed because it kept getting browner and browner. We were heartbroken to lose that tree. Read my 2018 post here Lost Tree.  But I think that a true gardener will mourn the loss of a plant and then start planning what plant could go in its place.

BEFORE we lost the Cedar tree I was exploring my local under the power lines nursery that shall remain nameless. I was poking around and found a couple 15 gallon trees hidden between some Magnolia soulangeana. I thought it was Michelia champaca. I was excited but had to ask. The employee there who knows me asked his boss and confirmed. I had seen this tree available in another nursery for $250 or tiny trees mailordered for $40. They are desirable because from their fragrant flowers Joy perfume is made. Back at my local nursery I asked to be able to buy one tree. They said no, that they were growing them up for larger containers. I begged and the boss relented and sold me one for $85.00. I brought it home and kept it in its pot in the backyard for 6 months.

So, this is the tree that I planted in our front yard where our Cedar tree was. Michelia champaca is related to the Magnolia. It grows only in warm climates and is native to tropical Asia. There are some of the white version at my beloved Disneyland's Haunted Mansion in Anaheim. And actually the people who name plants recently changed the name from Michelia champaca to Magnolia champaca.  They must have decided they were more than just related.  But I hate it when they change names.  


Research says that the tree should grow to about 30' tall and blooms in summer. I've been giving it extra water after that blowtorch weather of 114 we had last year on July 6, 2018. That weather fried some of the top growth. It recovered so I was excited to see its first flower this week. Yay!

Enjoy your summer.  I just try to stay cool, keep from getting heatstroke and keep my garden watered.  Bring on Autumn! 
Happy Gardening!