Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Feb. 17: Speaker Stefan Cover, 'Great New Magnolias for New England Gardens'

Magnoliasoulangeana (saucer magnolia)         Photo: Stefan Cover
Our February program meeting features Stefan Cover of the Magnolia Society International.

Stefan traces his love of magnolias to a tour he took long ago to the home of magnolia expert Harry Heineman in Scituate, Mass. “I felt like I died and went to heaven,” Stefan says.

The genus’ hold on him is due to the sheer flamboyance of blooms, their range of colors and the power of the displays. With their smoke-gray bark and appealing architecture, magnolias are good four-season trees, he adds.

Unfortunately, New England gardens mainly sport the pinkish saucer magnolias and white star magnolias, which “barely scratches the surface of the variety people here can grow and never do grow,” he says. “It’s sort of like a hidden world. People don’t even know what their options are.”

During his presentation, Stefan will discuss different kinds of magnolias and how to cultivate them successfully in Connecticut. He'll also identify some new varieties, including tender Chinese species, hybrids from New Zealand and outstanding red varieties from a Wisconsin hybridizer.

“Come and learn why you should knock down your house, live in a refrigerator box, turn all your property into a garden and plant tons of magnolias,” he invites.

Everyone is welcome to attend Stefan Cover’s talk on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. (7 p.m. for socializing) at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford, Conn. The fee for non-CHS members is $10. Contact: 860-529-8713

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