Monday, December 7, 2009

Celebrating Magnolias

Stately Old Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia Tree
By Patricia Neely-Dorsey

There's a majestic, old magnolia tree,
That stands in my front yard;
It's a tree that's grown there for ages,
And whose beauty you can't disregard.
She spreads her branches quite nobly.
She stretches her arms so commandingly,
As if certainly crying out to be seen.
She's the center of much activity,
And I know a squirrel family lives there;
I'm sure she affords them much comfort,
For her branches don't ever go bare.
There's so much that's gone on around her,
I'm sure that so much could be told;
But she keeps all her secrets well guarded,
And simply remains a sight to behold.

Welcome to another Outdoor Wednesday with our hostess Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer. It's been cold and wet here of late, so not exactly the kind of weather that makes me want to be outside. Instead, I've been keeping busy indoors decorating my Christmas trees and adding some holiday cheer around the house.

A friend brought over a big sack of magnolia leaves freshly cut from a large magnolia in her yard. I used them to add some greenery to my mantel for the holidays. The leaves of the magnolia are wonderful with one side a shiny green and the back side like a luscious suede. The contrast of the green with the warm brown tone is a lovely touch to bring indoors during the winter.

We don't have a magnolia tree in our yard, but there are many in our neighborhood. The one above was planted in the 1930s. It is one of my favorite trees in our neighborhood. Majestic in stature, it towers high above the home, and every spring this tree is covered in huge white fragrant magnolia blooms. Original owners of this home were Ben and Augusta Goodfriend, proprietors of Goodfriend's Specialty Shop, a local women's ware store. The Italian Renaissance Revival style was designed by Page Southland Page and was completed in 1932. Goodfriend's Specialty Shop was always one of my favorite stores when I was a student at the university, and I remember the Goodfriends as a warm and friendly couple. As was custom in the south, the Goodfriends planted this magnolia the year they moved into their new home. No doubt Ben and Augusta Goodfriend would be pleased to know that their regal magnolia continues to thrive and is a tribute to their southern hospitality.

The poem above, The Magnolia Tree, is one of many beautiful poems written by Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Her book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, is a delightful read as Patricia takes her audience back to her southern roots of a simple life growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi. Patricia's poetry gives one a glimpse into the southern way of life as she celebrates the south and things southern. Click here to visit Patricia's web site to read more about this talented "Mississippi Magnolia" and her book of poetry. This little book of poems would make a special holiday gift.

(Click to enlarge to read about the author.)

As always thank you for stopping by today. I truly appreciate your visits and comments. Don't forget to visit all the other Outdoor Wednesday participants listed @ A Southern Daydreamer.