As the saying goes, when you move house, the first thing to do is to plant a Magnolia (after you've unpacked the kettle!). Many of the old species could take years to flower when grown from seed - newer hybrids and grafted plants have thankfully removed the long wait for flowers. These are some of the showiest shrubs and small trees which can be grown outside in these islands and the range of colours and sizes is wider than ever. Grow in a moist, humus-rich soil in sun or part-shade. Whilst perfectly hardy, most varieties will benefit from a little protection from the coldest winds.