I shouldn't be so surprised, because it happens every year that things change very quickly in spring, but still I could hardly believe it when I looked out of my kitchen window this morning and saw that my cherry tree (well, actually only 1/3 of it is mine) has started to bloom!
Also, look at the beautiful primroses and primulae covering the garden of the old lady next door. I talked to her the other day, telling her how much I enjoy the view of her garden from my kitchen window every day, and she even offered for me to come over any time and get myself some flowers. She told me that all those lovely spring flowers have grown without her doing anything.
Wait - doesn't the headline of this post say something about magnolia? You're right, and I am now going to show you pictures of magnolia trees I have taken today.
These magnificent trees grow in my street, I pass them every day on my way to and from the station. The block of flats is nothing special, of typical late-1950s/early 1960s style, but for two or three weeks each year, it is transformed by these beautiful trees.
Here are two different types of what in German is called Sternmagnolie ("star magnolia"), because of the "star" shape of its blossom. If you look closely, you can see that the one on the right has more petals to one flower than the one on the left. I took these pictures today during a walk in the palace grounds.
Above, another star magnolia (I think), this time in pale pink. There were many more flowers and trees I could have taken pictures of, but of course on a fine sunny Sunday like today, the palace grounds were full of people and so it wasn't always easy to get the view I would have liked.
Here is another white one. The glasshouse in the back houses various exhibitions with a garden theme throughout the year; there is a picture of its inside here. The wooden shed in the front is a small learning centre where people can get advice about gardening.
But you know me well enough by now to expect more, and there will be more from today's walk, just not today :-)
Let me end this post with this picture of a flower that is definitely not a magnolia:
If you know what this is called (we also saw a blue variety a bit further on), please tell me.