We have a 10 x 10 foot brick patio hidden near the lot-line in the rear of the gardens. There are several magnolias in this area. The 2 here ae cvs. Of the Southern Magnolia. They are ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’ and named as such for the indumentum (brown fuzz under they leaves).
I cut branches at Christmas time to make floral arrangements, wreaths, and to set around on tables. We also have the Southern Magnolia and another cv. Edith Bogue. ‘Edith Bogue’ is hardy to northern NJ-zone 6. I am not as fond of that cv. As I am of ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’.
They all are evergreen and do well here in zone 7a; we are at the top limit of this zone. Magnolias need well-drained soil, like the rhododendron family, so we have them planted at a higher level in the gardens. Their rounded, dark green leaves provide a great contrast to the white pine, bluish-green needles.
Youcan also see in this picture the reddish oak leaf hydrangea to the left. This is an “architectual” plant. Its leaf shape is interesting and they are large. The fall color is just perfect to set off the other plants.
In the spring, this view changes drastically. The eye focuses on the deciduous azaleas on the right.