This Parris Is Classy ! - Aug 23, 2008

If you have found yourself putting shorts on in the morning it's a good indication that Spring has sprung. It's an exciting time to visit your local nursery because this is the time of year when all the new release plants start to arrive. One of the best plants on offer is an new evergreen shade tree called Magnolia grandiflora ' Kay Parris'. This classy looking tree has huge glossy green leaves that have a wavy margin. The underside of the leaves are coppery velvet.

In Summer to Autumn the tree is covered in highly fragrant white flowers that are the size of a bread and butter plate. These flowers look spectacular against the back drop of glossy green and copper foliage. Florists are starting to sell the foliage of this plant already because it lasts for ages in a vase and it looks so dramatic.

'Kay Parris' should be a winner because this small growing tree is perfectly suited to today's courtyard style gardens. Four metres high by two metres wide in the first 5 to 10 years. It's evergreen so there's no messy leaves to rake up in winter. It can also be used to make an informal hedge.

'Kay Parris' is only available in select nurseries so you will have to hunt around to find it. The advantage of this is you can get one up on your neighbours if you hurry.

Tim Pickles is a horticulturist and director of Tim's Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown. 46267022.