Star Magnolia : A Short-lived Beauty

Branches of Star Magnolia

Building and Buds. Ettman, K. (2013)

            109 South Prospect, an administrative building making sure the University of Vermont keeps moving forward. Women and men in suits in an office building shuffling papers and filling in reports. 

            Not exactly the scene you may imagine when nature pulls you into its grasp. Yet people who work in this very building have an intense reaction to the two star magnolias that line the entry to their place of employment.

            Janet Tebo the first face you see as you enter the building welcomed me in with a wide smile and chuckled when I said I had an odd request, replying, “we get those all the time.”

            So I went for it, I asked, “When I say star magnolia what do you think of or how do you feel?”

            Her response was simple and heart felt. She explained that the blooming of those star magnolias represents the coming of commencement. A marker that spring has finally arrived because we all know spring never truly comes when it is due in Vermont.

            She described the vibrant white petals and the smiles they induce in all the people who enter through the doors. Janet said that along with the beautiful blooms comes a fragrance so powerful that it wafts through the doors as people enter. The star magnolia stands as a reminder of spring and happiness for Janet.

            This powerful reaction was not only from Janet but others through out the office. One woman discussed her disappointment when the tree blooms on a Friday because the beautiful blooms are gone by the time she returns to work on Monday. This influenced her to plant her very own star magnolia at her home. She believes the blooms are much too short-lived.  

            The star magnolia is obviously a prominent feature in the UVM community, and something that deserves more attention.