Magnolias for Memorial Day

magnolia tree

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Can you believe we are reaching the end of May already?! It’s almost time for school to let out, with graduation festivities and prom nights in full swing. Such an exciting time…full of promise, romance, youthful hopes and sweet dreams teetering on the cusp of new chapters.

 Meanwhile, for those of us who find gardens exciting 🙂  May in Southern California also means the magnolia trees are in bloom.

magnolia tree slimpaley

We are super lucky to have a very old tree that grows right outside our younger son’s bedroom. So close in fact, you can almost reach out and touch it. Even better, we can leave the windows open and let the intoxicating scent of the blooms drift through.

magnolia tree

A heady scent indeed. So intense, a single flower is almost too much to bear inside, unless it’s a very large room.

magnolia blossomThe aroma is quite indescribable-care to take a stab?! I can’t even think of another flower that smells as strongly as the magnolia.

giant magnolia

This particular bloom was SO gigantic that I propped it up on a large pillow just for the size reference. Is this insane or what?! It was the biggest magnolia flower I’ve ever seen.

via Tumblr


Magnolia ice rug designed by Vivienne Westwood for The Rug Company

Australian Vogue Entertaining

Australian Vogue Entertaining


My friend R.B. took this amazing photo!

magnolia candle

This ‘Linnea’s Lights’ Magnolia scented candle is on sale right now at

Magnolia flower glass by Sicis


Web flat shots

Old school magnolia print

via tumblr


Take an old image and go new school with a large mural


Giant murals via

magnolia flower

magnolia blossom

I zoomed in on this guy busy at work and making quite a mess.

magnolia rug

Vivienne Westwood magnolia rug in black

magnolia flower bud

New life about to burst forth.

Congratulations to all those young people about to embark on new chapters, and to their parents, running around with your hearts fit to burst this month…take it all in and enjoy every second. I’m loving all the prom and graduation photos on Instagram!

Most of all, this weekend we remember and honour all those who gave and continue to give of themselves to keep us free and safe on this holiday and every day.

xoxox SP


#FleetWeek #NYC Instagram photo via 4thfloorwalkup


This time last year…

Remembering on Memorial Day Weekend

Remembering those in my family who served.




    • Slim,
      You’ve outdone yourself!!!! Absolutely gorg!!!! I could smell the scent through my computer!!! You Rock!!! And yes, thank you to everyone who protects our freedom and beautiful country.

  1. I have a daughter coming home from her first year at college, and a niece graduating high school tomorrow! A busy, fabulous time indeed!

  2. Beautiful magnolias. I don’t believe I have ever smelled one. Are they anything like gardenias? (I especially loved the photo by R.B.)

  3. Happy Memorial Day, Slim! These pics are wonderful. I love R.B.’s photo. It’s really amazing.

  4. growing up in the south, NWFLA, we had giant magnolia blooms + I had a big tree outside my bedroom window + the smell was divine + takes me back home to smell them.

  5. I planted a little 5-gallon magnolia a year ago in a planter and it’s performed so well. It’s got blooms waiting to burst right now. It is such a magical time when you have children transitioning to new adventures.
    Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

  6. The magnolias are blooming wildly in Alabama, too! Beautiful post. Your photography is stunning! Thanks.

  7. Such a great post! I grew up in the south and those glossy leaves and gorgeous, fragrant blooms always take me back.

  8. Oh my, your magnolias are so beautiful, it is truly one of my favorites. So pretty with the dark, shiny leaves, and the fragrance is just honey blossom like, I am envious that it wafts through your house. Have you ever seen the shot of Edie Sedgwick carrying a giant magnolia, with some of the leaves for her wedding bouquet? What else do you need? Incredible shots with the bees, really lovely.

  9. So sorry about the trajedy in your community. With your lovely post–juxtaposed light and darkness. Be well SP, you and yours.

  10. So beautiful and one of my most favorite scents, yum! Thank you for the mention to all of our brave men and women from years past to present, who do the most noble job there is. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

  11. Just loved this. My grandmother had an old magnolia tree in her yard when we were growing up and the smell still reminds me of summers in her yard, -and also hucking the cones over the fence and at squirrels! That large bloom is amazing! I adore the wall mural. Such a poignant weekend with Memorial Day and all the graduations. Hoping you are enjoying it.
    x Kim

  12. Magnolias can be wonderful in so many designs and it is great to find something like this. We wish we would see more magnolias being used both indoors and outdoors!

  13. Magnolias are like the southern gals sitting pretty on the front porch with tall glasses of iced tea just waiting for
    the sun to go down. DC was far enough south that we had magnolia trees in our neighborhoods and every May
    I would get my birthday picture taken standing infront of the glorious pink blossoms. It harkens back to a slower time
    and a gentler time of my life. Thanks for your beautiful post, Slim.

Would love to hear from you!