It may be ignorantly un-Southern of me to say this, but I dislike magnolia trees. As a tree lover generally, it pains me to admit this awful prejudice, but I have come to it honestly, that is to say, after having experienced a number of magnolia trees on my very own property. The trees produce magnificent blossoms, huge fragrant things that we used to pick and float in bowls of water on the dining room table. They emit a wonderfully sweet scent, redolent of Tennessee Williams and reminiscent of women who say Yes in three syllables. But the leaves, the damned big ol’ leaves, fall off the tree twelve months a year and they never deteriorate. On the tree they show a shiny dark green side up, a dull green on the down side, and they are as large as hands. But then they fall, turn brown, and harden like crab shells. They even move along the ground like crabs, wind-powered. They litter the ground for a wide circumference around the tree itself, blow into the street, into neighbor’s yards, and seem never to go away. I have one now at the back of my yard, a tall and old and stately magnolia tree with a trunk as hefty as most oaks. My back yard is in good shape. The azaleas are patient and prepared to wait out the winter. The camelias are in bud. The hickory trees and the sweet gums have long since dropped their leaves, which have been taken care of by mower and rake. Still, magnolia leaves continue to overpopulate the lawn, dead and curled at the edges like claws, endless, aggravating, forever.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours