Magnolia blossoms from a variety called Leonard Messel.

Those late-winter/early spring snowfalls can be hard on a gardener. But spring is that way. It comes; it retreats.

This year’s early warmth wakened our magnolia three weeks ahead of schedule. And over the weekend, it burst into bloom, providing a scented backdrop for weekend garden chores.

But we woke this morning to snow, and lows of 21 degrees F. are predicted for tonight. I know the blooms will be browned and blackened by frost. If I were ambitious, I’d have been out there last night with garden fabric, wrapping the 10-foot shrub for protection.

Instead, I went out with a pruners and cut several large branches for indoors: one bouquet for the living room and one small one to bring to the office.

Here in my cubicle, a little coffee cup of magnolia blossoms reminds me that spring is coming.

David Grist
Gardener’s Supply