Wednesday 6 April 2022


 I was walking around a neighbourhood in Dublin one day last week and was delighted to see a number of magnolia trees in bloom. It's definitely springtime. I had never actually seen magnolia trees until I moved to Ireland, though I was familiar with their existence from Billie Holiday's amazing song "Strange Fruit" (and I also enjoyed the Siouxsie and the Banshees post-punk cover in my youth). Since my move to this side of the world I have often seen these trees at this time of year and just love them.

What really surprised me in that neighbourhood though, was a magnolia hedge - something I had never encountered before.

In front of another house I saw a hedge that I almost identified as magnolia but then dubbed it an imposter as I thought the open blossoms were definitely not correct. I was wrong! When I got home I did a google search and discovered that this is simply a different species of magnolia with which I was unfamiliar. You really do learn something new every day!

I fully admit that I love magnolias and find them inspirational. There is a fabulous magnolia tree in the middle of town, in Bray, just down the street from where I lived for a few years. I did sketches of the tree and in 1999 my acrylic painting Magnolia (3' x4'//91.5 cm x 122 cm) was included in my exhibition Blessings. The painting was bought by my husband's uncle in the USA and is beautifully framed and residing in Iowa City.

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