Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Magnolia Pods

After working on the greenhouse almost all day yesterday, I was hoping to show you all the wonderful progress I made ... not to be.  I did make a LOT of progress, but it doesn't show well in photos.  I dismantled the previous framing that was supposed to hold the windows (which had been installed wrong), added blocking and supports here and there (not very visible), worked out a new plan for EXACTLY how to install the windows. and began to cut and install the trim (not too spectacular at this point). 

Since I can't wow you with my work on the greenhouse yet, let me show you some photos that I took on Sunday afternoon.  We have a really large Magnolia tree in our front yard.  Every fall, the ripe seeds emerge from their pods, and the red seeds practically glow in the sunshine.

Our tree is a Magnolia Grandiflora, the majestic Southern Magnolia.  In the late spring, it is covered with sweet-smelling, saucer-sized cream colored flowers.  The seeds develop within these pods during the summer, and they emerge in the fall.

I'm glad that previous owners of our property had the foresight to leave the lower branches on this tree.  Magnolias are messy trees.  When all of these seeds and pods and other assorted litter falls to the ground, the skirt of branches hides it all ... and we can enjoy the seasonal show without having to worry about the clean up.

I loved these last two photos, because each of them captured predators at work ... Assassin Bugs and a Jumping Spider.  (these are the good guys!)

Once things warm up a bit this morning, I intend to get right back outside to try to make more progress on the greenhouse.  Perhaps I will have something to show you tomorrow ... with the new plan firmly in place in my mind, things should go pretty quickly from now on ... fingers crossed.


  1. Nice! Would love to have a magnolia tree on our property, but by the time it grew to a full tree I doubt we would be here to enjoy it. In the meantime I'll enjoy yours. :-)

  2. Trimming magnolia trees is a pet peeve of mine. They are just so grand when they are left the way nature intended with the branches sprawling on the ground. Plus it's less to mow around, who doesn't love that? :)

    Happy Gardening.

  3. Whoa! What amazing pictures of those seed pods -- the brilliant red seeds are almost creepy in how they pop out of the pod... sort of "Alien"-like.

    Magnolia trees don't grow in New Jersey, so thanks for the glimpse of an exotic species. Do you preserve any of the leaves with glycerin? (Isn't that how it's done?)

    Happy Halloween!

  4. Good luck with your fall work! My magnolia tree doesn't get those seedheads - but my leaves are not as stout and glossy as yours are either - so it's obviously a different variety. What a lovely thing to look forward to every fall!

  5. Had one at a home we once owned ... I loved it!

  6. Amazing seeds, the look like tiny chillies! I look forward to seeing your greenhouse.
    Jumping spiders are probably my worst nightmare - shudder!

  7. Sometimes it takes a while for all of the hard work to show, but it is worth the wait.

    Your photos are gorgeous.

  8. Me gusta mucho esa clase de magnolia, y se ve estupendo ese color rojo. Saludos

  9. Oh, gosh, you're waiting for warm up and I'm longing for cool down.

  10. My fingers are crossed for you!

    Can you start magnolia trees from those seeds? My Mom has a Magnolia tree that she wants taken down because of the mess (so sad). I was hoping to start some trees from the seeds before it's too late.

  11. Did you know that Magnolias are a very old almost prehistoric plant? And seed pod type plants are the oldest? I learned that at the Fernbank Museum here.

    We have 3 Little Gem Magnolias. I tried once to get the seeds to germinate with no luck. You soak them first to get the red skin off and then plant them. I'll keep trying...not that I have room for anymore Magnolias mind you.

    I am also going to try again to do Magnolia Wreaths for Xmas. And maybe add some seed pods for color.


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