When I saw the text from my neighbour last week letting me know her magnolia tree had flowered, I rushed over with my camera. The forecast had been for rain but we were lucky to have a whole week of fine weather; the best way to admire the handkerchief coral tepals is under sea blue sky. The spread of the branches takes up a quarter of her small back garden and creates shade for most of the year. She has thought about cutting it back but never has because she is worried it would stop flowering. The magnolia flower represents "splendid beauty and dignity". From a little sappling she thought didn't look so well when she planted it, to a diva of spring in our neighbourhood.