Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Star Magnolia: Gone but Not Forgotten

Buddha Magnolia (Conservatory Garden)
It's spring, the crocuses and daffodils are popping and the weather is warming up.  A good time for a walk to the Conservatory Garden in Central Park to check on the tulips and see how the magnolias are doing.  Hoping against hope that it wont's be like last spring when they bloomed a tad early and the flowers were a bit bruised by the cold.

Let's stroll the French Garden first.

Tulips peeking up in their beds, check.

Vines being set on arbors, check.

Three Dancing Maidens polished and ready for
the fountain to be turned on, 

Now to check out the magnolias.

Star Magnolia from Years Past (Conservatory Garden)

Before heading for the English Garden -- where the magnolias are more profuse and richer in color -- a visit to my star magnolia tree.  The blooms are so delicate with the petals stirring at the slightest wind.  Just a few more steps and I'll be upon it.

Whoa, what's this big bare brown spot?  Maybe I've got the wrong corner of the garden -- it's been a while since I've walked this way.  I walk a few steps south puzzled and disoriented.  No tree.

Where My Star Magnolia Once Stood (Conservatory Garden)
I approach the gardner who has been busy fixing the vines that drape one of the four arbors leading into the gardens that house the tulips.  Good afternoon he says and I ask him about the tree, my tree.  Oh he says, it was either the hurricane or perhaps the October snow.  A taller tree came down on it.  Will there be another tree?  Yes, he says.  In a couple of weeks, it's a matter of finding the right one, the same kind.

Thank you and have a good day.  I walked off a little saddened by the demise of one of my favorite trees.  The park has taken a couple of big hits these past several years -- not sweeping hits the way forest fires can tear through an old growth forest up north but hits none the less.  There was a microburst storm that decimated the northern reaches of the park in 2010 and the weight of the heavy wet snow that arrived in October 2011 took its toll as well.   Some massive trees have come down (there's a log graveyard near the garden and another running down the drive -- I wonder which one holds the remains of my magnolia).

It wasn't clear whether my tree, my beautiful star magnolia had been a victim of the October 2011 snow or the hurricane at the end of August.  It didn't really matter.  It was gone.  Small comfort that another was soon to come in its place.

My Star Magnolia. Gone but not forgotten.

Delicate Blossoms (Conservatory Garden)

Star Magnolia Buds (Conservatory Garden)

Hint of Pink (Conservatory Garden)

Magnolia Backside (Conservatory Garden)

Kissed by Light (Conservatory Garden)


  1. In the South and recently captured by the star magnolias ... yes quite a display of beauty indeed !