One of the first woody things I planted in my garden was a young specimen of Magnolia loebneri ‘Ballerina,’ one of the great Loebner hybrids. The plant was propagated and grown for more than a decade by my friend Dennis Mareb of Windy Hill Nursery in Gt. Barrington, MA, before he sold it to me, so between us Dennis and I have “parented” this beauty for more than 25 years. Today it’s taller than my house. Dennis recommended it because of the vulnerability of many other magnolias to late frost. ‘Ballerina’ is about 10 days later than some similar-looking varieties, meaning the weather is less like to take it from me before I’m through admiring it. I’ve never had its blooms lost to a cold snap. Good advice, as ever, from Dennis.
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blooming this week (2)