Today being January 3rd means one thing. Magnolia watch! Normally I would be writing this at the end of the month but this year its 18 days earlier than previous records!

On January 21st, between 2002-2008, the first Magnolia began to flower. 2009 saw a delay of around 37 days flowering on the 25th of February. 2010 was even later (45 days later) on the 8th March.

If the flowers get any later we will start to agree with the text books and have spring at spring time and not late winter.

This year’s mild winter has bucked the trend of increasingly later flowering and within the next few days there will be the first flower, the buds are showing colour on more than one tree.

Usually the Campbellii seedling above the cock pit is easily the first but this year magnolia campbellii ‘Charles Raffil’, one of our champion trees, is almost open showing real flashes of pink.

The buds have shed their little furry jackets, which is all well and good as long as we don’t get a cold snap and burn all the flowers.

Keep checking back to see when the first flower fully reveals it self.