The Dogwood Tree and its Legend

One of the most beautiful sights that grace the landscape during spring is the dogwood tree. The dogwood tree is one of my favorite trees.

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Photo Credit: https://www.fast-growing-trees.com

To many gardeners, dogwoods are the most beautiful of all flowering trees. These delightful trees often begin to blossom when they are only 4 to 6 feet tall, and their spectacular flowers are so tough that they often stay colorful for three or four weeks, twice as long as the blossoms on other trees. But the flowers are not the trees’ only attributes, for dogwoods have other traits that extend their usefulness well beyond the flowering season. The white or pink flowers are followed by bright red fruits, which are relished by birds; the dark green leaves of summer turn deep orange in autumn, and the horizontal tiers of branches are attractive throughout the year. Even during winter, the upturned ends of the twigs look interesting, since they are tipped with fat greenish buds that will become the next season’s flowers. Dogwoods usually grow from 6 to 8 feet with an equal spread in about five years.

I had a palmetto tree on my front lawn that I never liked. Last fall, it looked so bad, I told the HOA landscaper to take it down. At some point, I thought of getting a magnolia tree, but then a fellow gardener told me to be prepared to rake the leaves all the time. That made me go for a dogwood tree instead.

I bought a small dogwood tree from Fast Growing Trees, which I planted during one of those warm days in the Fall. In late December, I called the supplier and told them that the tree lost all its leaves and looked dead. They assured me it was OK. We’ll see how it does this season.

There is a legend to the dogwood tree.

At the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it:

“Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossom shall be in the form of a cross. . . two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns and all who see it will remember.”

Dogwood Flower

Photo Credit: https://www.fast-growing-trees.com

So if you have a space in your yard, plant a dogwood tree. You’ll love it. I planted a Cherokee Brave Dogwood.

Welcome Spring, A Time of Renewal

 

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I love living in the South where spring comes early. While NY where I came from is still having freezing weather and snow storm is still the norm in March, here in Charleston, the days are getting longer and warm air is creeping in. As I walk the dog this morning, I heard birds singing and frolicking in the lake.  There are so much colors around me. The azaleas are in full bloom. Pansies are smiling with their happy face. The tulips are practically done. Daffodils are still in bloom and this year, my hyacinths are just glorious. I had them once in New York but mine usually grew so tall there, then plopped down so I gave up on them. Last fall, I decided to plant some here and I really love it. They are gorgeous and very fragrant. I can smell the wonderful scent as I open my front door.

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Since we had some icy weather last winter, I lost some of my plants to ice. I replaced some of them and tried some new ones. I miss Shima-Nishiki peony that I had in NY with its stunning striped blooms so when I saw it in a catalog on sale, I bought two.

Shima-Nishiki Peony

 

I have always wanted to plant grapes but never did until this year. I bought RazzMatazz, a breakthrough in grape breeding. It tastes like Muscadines yet has a tender-crisp texture of a regular table grape and it is seedless. It also bears continuously and it does not have to be sprayed for diseases and insects. We’ll see how it grows. I wish I have a bigger yard so I can really go to town with my gardening.

 

Some of the roses are showing some buds already and some of the old garden roses have started to bloom. I hope to have plenty of blooms in May because I’m doing a rose display at Johns Island Public Library for the whole month and I need a fresh bouquet of roses twice a week for the whole month. I have done most of my spring cleaning in the garden and now am delighted to see new growth coming up.

 

Inside the house, spring cleaning is a rite of passage. Winter clothes have to go up in the attic for storage and spring and summer clothes come down. You feel tired looking at those dreary dark-colored drapery. There is this urge to change the look to spring with light flowery curtains. I must admit, I did not change my curtains last winter. I like my yellow curtains with roses on them so I kept it year round.

 

I kept staring at my wall. My husband looked at me askance. I said, “I’m thinking.” He said, “So I see. I smell something burning.” Funny, ha? I wanted to paint the wall but could not decide whether to stay with the “developer’s” boring beige or go for light green. Green is my favorite color, the color of nature. That is a no-brainer. I am a gardener.

 

Regarding my writing, I’m determined to publish my nonfiction this spring, most likely early May. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging lately trying to sharpen my writing skills. I still have a lot to learn. After I publish my nonfiction, I want to edit my next fiction about a white-collar crime. I’ve never written a mystery/thriller before but I love to challenge myself. I like historical novel but as an accountant, I love the plot on this book. So things are looking up again in my writing journey. In the meantime, check some of my blogs. I have several blogs going on. I will try to reblog some of my posts from the other blogs into my website – www.rosalindarmorgan.com so check it out.

 

After a slow winter, there is that energy that invigorate us to spring forward. There is the spiritual renewal in spring too. With Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For a practicing Catholic, it is the most sacred of Holidays and it means a lot to me. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promise. The church always looks splendid with Easter lilies and spring flowers, giving us a sense of rebirth.

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Happy Spring. Enjoy the warming weather.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda