I snuck out.
An Atlanta family friend hosted a fanciful southern brunch this morning in Buckhead. Neal turns 50 Sunday and it’s a weekend of eating and catching up in his hometown.
While folks talked about how long it’s been, I stole out the French doors to the garden. The garden.
I could have photographed it for days.
After our meal and swim in the pool, we were leaving through a side garden when a leggy and perfect tree caught my fancy. Tall and thin, long broad leaves pitched perfect little canopies to shade the ferns from the remaining filtered sunlight. The tree reached effortlessly up between the grand house and the stone wall holding back the hill.
I asked our hostess what it was as we said our goodbyes. “Oh, it’s a magnolia.” “Really?” “Yes. Actually, it’s native to Atlanta. They call it an umbrella magnolia. Or maybe a cucumber tree. Anyway, the flowers only last a day but I love ‘em”
Growing up in Florida, magnolias are dear but I had forgotten just how regional they can be. I didn’t ask her if she planted it or had let it grow. Atlanta has quite a few native magnolia species, the umbrella magnolia being one.
Though, after looking at photos for way too long, it may have been a cucumber magnolia.
Regardless, it was the perfect tree to pass under after a lovely brunch with cold sweet tea and southern hospitality.