Hybrid hellebore looking great
Kew's Temperate House is falling down

Misleading magnolia

MagnoliaTelegraph Magnolia sieboldii is a lovely shrub, or even a small tree. But don’t expect it ever to look like this – unless you cut the branches off your flowering tree and stuff them into a pot. As seen here. This is not a patio plant, it can be a 30ft+/10m+ tree!

What’s more, although it’s one of the magnolias which flowers when quite young – usually when about five or six years old – it never ever flowers at the size seen in this picture from Britain’s Daily Telegraph’s online garden shop.

Neverthless… Magnolia sieboldii is one of the finest of all magnolias, and fragrant too. Just be sure to plant it in moisture retentive, acid soil. And not in a patio pot!


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I don't know who they think they're fooling! The giveaway, for me, is that the leaves do not face toward the sun as they do on a real—not arranged—plant.

Graham Rice

I know - it's just doesn't make sense does it?


Thanks to your vigilance, I'm reading my catalogues with a much more critical eye these days.

I'm wondering just how many plants they stuff into a pot to make them look like they flower really prolifically.

BTW not sure if you saw my tweet the other day (as Malvernmeet), I was asking if you'll be in England for the Malvern Show. I'm arranging a bloggers get together there!

Claire Brown

thank you for alerting me to this practice, - although long time gardeners may be able to spot the difference, - most gardeners that buy from magazine articles wouldn't know that is fake, - and i'm making sure I tell all my clients now.

Graham Rice

VP... It's interesting, a couple of people have said that it's all too much fuss and that they're irritated by these posts! And no, I'm afraid I won't be at Malvern this year.

Claire... You're right, it's the relatively inexperienced gardeners who are fooled by these pictures. So please let me know if you come across any more.

Dirty Girl Gardening

Ya - don't ya just love the fake photo's in those cheesy garden mag.s!

Graham Rice

Any specific examples I could highlight, Dirty Girl? Suggestions most welcome.

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