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Spring Flowering Magnolias

  27/03/2014 at 09:27 am

One could not talk about the splendour of spring flowering magnolias, without commenting on one of the greatest gardens in the world. Mount Congreve gardens have been described as one of the top one hundred gardens in the world, and rightly so. My few words would be a grave injustice in trying to describe the beauty and splendour of these magnificent gardens. Mount Congreve gardens are home to over 300 different varieties of flowering magnolias and the gardens are also home to over three thousand different plant varieties. To many Irish people these gardens are a hidden treasure, tucked away in Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford. The creator of these gardens, Mr. Ambrose Christian Congreve CBE dedicated a lifetime in the making of Mount Congreve. The gardens are open every Thursday, from April to September, so plan your visit wisely.

Magnolia plants are usually associated with being difficult and demanding plants that are hard to look after, well this could be because of our association of them having big flamboyant flowers. Magnolias are a lot tougher than they look; they would have to be considering they have being on earth for over twenty million years. They are so old that they evolved on earth before bees; hence they do not produce nectar, as they are pollinated by beetles. Magnolia x soulangeana or better known to many as the ‘Tulip Tree’, which is aptly named because of its upstanding tulip-shaped flowers, which are borne in late spring. These well known magnolias are usually grown as a large shrub or small tree. As a rule magnolias prefer a deep rich soil that is moisture retentive and preferably on the acid side. Although soulangeana magnolias will tolerate lime soils, they will not grow on shallow chalky soils.

An incredible new compact Magnolia with stunning deep burgundy blooms. Magnolia 'Genie' is famed for its spectacular flowers which adorn the plant in late winter and early spring and again in autumn. (Unlike most magnolias which flower only in the spring). The deep coloured buds are striking in themselves and once they open to the goblet-shaped blooms you will experience 'Genie's' true magic for yourself.

• A magnificent feature plant

• Well suited to large containers

• Perfect choice for smaller gardens as it is a true compact variety

• Plant either side of pathways and entrances for a formal look

• Low maintenance

• Grows to 3 metres(10ft)


By Eamonn Wall