Embracing the Magnolia Magic

April 24th, 2024 | Amelia Palacios

A photo of a Housie holding magnolia petals in their hands. A photo of the magnolia tree from the deck.

Dear Friends,

Spring is here. Daffodils and tulips popping up from the earth, buds bursting from branches–a technicolor parade of blooms greets the eyes.But what efflorescent beauty takes the cake?

The magnificent magnolia tree at the Friends House.

I’ve taken to eating my lunch under its bountiful branches, as weather permits. (It is still early spring in Boston, after all.) I savor the warmth of the sun on my face, and the soft shadows the canopy of blossoms offers. Birds twitter about the fire escape, offering a soundtrack to my lunch, punctuated by the occasional flutter of petals falling. It’s a welcome springtime oasis.

Moments like this help me shake off those winter blues. I grew up with a magnolia tree in the front yard of my house in California. It is nowhere near as grand as the one at the Friends House, so the first time I witnessed the Friends House tree in full bloom I was floored.

At the time, one of my housemates shared with me all the different culinary uses for magnolia blossoms (pickled, in tea, as a syrup, even a cake!). We gathered some petals from the tree, and gave them a nibble–a burst of cardamom and ginger, a little bitter… overall, delightful.

Under the magnolia tree, time seems to slow down, allowing me to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Next time you see a magnolia in bloom, embrace the springtime splendor and give those petals a taste!

In blooming bliss,

Amelia Palacios

Program and Engagement Manager

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