Sunday Throwback

It’s Sunday again and this gorgeous Magnolia tree was taken during the first lockdown.

Magnolia was named by the Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus in 1737 in honour of the French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715).   The plant which Magnol had described is that we now know as Magnolia virginiana an evergreen American species which despite its name was already growing in Europe by the mid eighteenth century.

The earliest western record of magnolias in cultivation is found in Aztec history at the time of Montezuma where there are illustrations of what we now know to be the very rare Magnolia dealbata.   This plant survives only in a few places in the wild and, although climate change is largely to blame, the natives cut the flowers for festivals and this prevents the plants seeding.   It was found by a Spanish explorer called Hernandez who was commissioned by Philip II of Spain and whose work was published in 1651.

Some of the earliest references to magnolias in literature refer to their purported medicinal properties.   Anyone who has smelt the peculiar smell of magnolia sap – and what an alluring smell it is – will see how likely this was to appeal to those involved in medicine.    The flower buds of Magnolia salicifolia are used in Asia to treat headaches and allergies.  A 1985 study reports on the potential use of this drug in the treatment of cancer.   Another recent study found that tonics from the bark of Magnolia officinalis lessen tremor in patients with Parkinsons disease.

Magnolias are however one of the most primitive plants in evolutionary history and fossil records show that magnolias once existed in Europe, North America and Asia over 100 million years ago.  

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Springtime at last!?

Gosh I’m sorry I’ve not posted in a while; the lighter mornings and longer afternoons are seeing me more in the garden. My daily commute takes me through some gorgeous countryside and it is a delight to see at anytime of the year but especially Springtime!

I have seen many species of birds; robins, wood pigeons, blue & longtail tits, magpies, crows, geese, swans to name just a few. I also see squirrels & rabbits sitting bathing in the morning sun; their fur creating a golden halo around their silhouette.

Many trees and flowers are now in bloom; the very beautiful magnolia, sweet violets create a purple blanket over the floor, golden daffodils that nod their heads to welcome the sunshine and Muscari with the delicate blue flowers edged in white like a tutu. Which Spring flower is your favourite?


Saturday Motivation

“Magic waited for me in the morning dew of this brand new day.” BL Bates  

Getting Ready for June Showcase

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Sunday Sun Salutation

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Springtime Flowers

Have you noticed that that the days are getting longer and that colours are popping up all around us? The trees have a soft green tinge to them as their new fresh green leaves start to open up.

The Magnolia tree at work will soon be open, you can see the soft pink petals ready to emerge; maybe next week they will be out fully into bloom.


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Easter holiday in York III

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