It just wouldn't be spring without one of its first harbingers--the showy blossoms of all the incredibly lovely Japanese Magnolias. They grow especially well in acid soils across the US, and make beautiful ornamental, specimen lawn trees. They can even be used as a patio tree in a large garden pot in colder climes.
The variety 'Jane' grows into a rounded shrub with late spring flowers that look something like slender tulips. Their large, extremely fragrant blossoms are reddish-purple on the outside and white on the inside. The 'Ann' variety has large 7-9 inch, lightly scented flowers that are deep purple-red inside and out. Both have been bred to bloom late to avoid frost damage.
The foliage of 'Ann' as well as the variety 'Betty' turns a beautiful yellow in the fall, while 'Jane' turns copper.
Finding words to describe their none-to-soon, welcome beauty after a long winter is hard, so I'll let the following videos and photos do the talking...
Japanese Magnolia trees in the garden landscape
flowers of the Japanese Magnolia tree
More photos of the Japanese magnolia tree blossoms--
The saucer magnolia tree is definitely a breathtaking showstopper in spring, and can make your garden a showplace. The 'Jane' variety is a good choice.