Native Spring Flowering Trees

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A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a regional ecosystem.  There are more than 215 trees that are native to the state of Georgia, making it one of the states with the highest diversity of tree species.

When we as homeowners or city planners plant native species we enjoy the benefits they have to offer; namely, that they are adapted to our climate and they contribute in many ways to native wildlife.  Furthermore, by simply planting them we contribute to their preservation.

Among the species of native trees found in Georgia are the flowering trees; many of which are very showy from spring to early summer, as well as fragrant.

Below are the names of some of our native flowering trees of Georgia:

  • Aesculus flava, yellow buckeye – white/yellow flowers, gets large, needs rich soil, zone 7a-7b
  • Cladrastis kentukea, yellowwood tree – white, fragrant flowers,  zone 6b-8a
  • Amalanchier arborea, downy serviceberry – white flowers, zone 7a-8b
  • Cercis canadensis, Eastern redbud  – purple flowers, many cultivars, zone 6b-8b
  • Chionanthus virginicus, Grancy Graybeard fringe tree – white flowers, 6b-8b
  • Halesia tetraptera , Carolina silver bell – white/pink flowers, zone 6b-8a
  • Malus angustifolia, Southern crabapple – pink flowers, zone 7b-8b
  • Oxydendrum arboreum , sourwood – white flowers, source of sourwood honey, zone 6b-8b
  • Styrax grandifolius, big leaf snowbell  – white, fragrant flowers, rare in trade, zone 7a-8b

 

Lemon Drop Martini

 

 

Lemon Drop Martini

My friend Carol S., who lives off of Charlotte Drive in Alpharetta, introduced me to this delicious adult beverage.  It is almost too much like lemonade – and delicious!  Muddle a sprig of lavender in with the simple syrup and know what can only be called B-L-I-S-S.   The following recipe serves one.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with the lemon twist

Make Your Own Boursin Cheese

IMG_3629A friend, Helen Z., served up this cheese ‘ball’ at Christmas and calls it a “Mock Boursin Cheese”.  It was delicious!  Serve with a mild cracker like a Wheat Thin or a plain Water Cracker.

Mock Boursin Cheese Ball

Combine softened 8 oz. cream cheese with 1 teaspoon of all of the following:

  • caraway seed
  • dried basil
  • dill weed
  • chopped chives
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

Stir all this together well and then shape it into a ball (rounded or flattened) and press it into several tablespoons of lemon-pepper that you have poured onto a plate.

This should be prepared early in the day if serving that evening – or the day before – in order to let the flavors meld.