'Royal Star' magnolia

The shrub I most look forward to seeing every spring is our 'Royal Star' magnolia. We planted it outside our dining room window many years ago and it has grown beautifully.

These magnolias (Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star') are very easy to grow and very hardy (down to zone 4). During the winter and very early spring, the plant is covered with what looks like fuzzy pussy willows but they're actually covering the blossoms that will spring to life each April.

The flowers are a pale pink and turn to creamy white and as you can see, it blooms profusely. Thank heavens it doesn't need any deadheading! The shrub grows to a height of about 12 feet, although we've been trying to rein it in a bit over the past couple of years.

The sight of all of these blossoms just makes me smile.