I first encountered Magnolia sieboldii in Joanna Reed's Malvern, PA garden in early May, 1997. My journal notes how beautiful the flower was but failed to describe their sublime citrus fragrance. This small tree or large shrub blooms sporadically throughout the summer and the bright orangish-red seeds produce a vibrant show well through September.
Last year, we had a late frost that damaged nearly all the leaves and flower buds so it had been two years since I enjoyed the show. As we sat at the dinner table last evening, a light breeze brought in wafts of sweet perfume. It was worth the wait.