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Magnificent Magnolias

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Thanks to donor support, this year we were able to uncover many Magnolias from invasive plants. We have 40+ Magnolias and they are one of our most important collections. In the 1970s, horticulturist Tony Dove established our collection, grafting magnolias, including Magnolia ‘Eric Savil’ (M. sprengeri).

​However, growth of invasive plants, like ivy and blackberry, had made it impossible to access some of the Magnolias for identification. This year, we cleared 2 acres of invasive plants, including 1/2 an acres of bamboo, which hid a unique Magnolia called Magnolia veitchii (See photo below thanks to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens).

We were also able to add new species, like Magnolia ashei, endangered in some areas. London Town prioritizes biodiversity as we work to help conserve endangered botanical specimens.

To further our propagation efforts, this year our staff was able to collect over 100 seeds from 2 different species and 4 separate trees. These seeds are now in cold stratification for propagation in February 2023. Some of these seeds will also be shared with the International Magnolia Society and will be available for purchase in the gardens.

​During our rescue operation, we even re-discovered a lost garden bed overlooking the South River. Named "Wild Azalea Hills," the bed was planted in late 1990’s to highlight Azaleas, Camellias, and Magnolias. We will be working on restoring it to its former glory.

Azalea Glade at Historic London Town

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