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Ode to the Dogwood

May 10th, 2011

Each year we wait patiently for the dogwood trees to burst forth with their display. Some years we get a big wind storm right as they’re coming out and we miss their graceful blooms entirely. Every couple years we have the perfect weather and they bloom profusely.

This year is one of the good years. The trees on our property are blooming beautifully, thanks partly to the perfect weather and partly from my efforts to improve the soil around them.

In our area they are plentiful along the edges of all the woods, they produce seeds and propagate freely. I’m constantly pulling baby dogwood trees out of my flowerbeds. We have two very old dogwood trees and a handful of younger ones as well, all of them of the native wild variety. One of the oldest ones is in rough shape and may need taken down one of these days.

Dogwoods are such graceful trees. I love the way they look against the sky, the open airy feel, the curvy branches and the creamy white blooms. They are one of my favorite spring blooming trees!

What’s your favorite flowering tree?

15 Comments to “Ode to the Dogwood”
  1. Brittany P. on May 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Ah the dogwood, so much is the legend of the dogwood…

    The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

    In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
    To a stately size and a lovely hue.
    ‘Twas strong and firm it’s branches interwoven
    For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
    Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
    Christ made a promise which still holds good:
    “Never again shall the dogwood grow
    Large enough to be used so.
    Slender and twisted, it shall be
    With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
    As blood stains the petals marked in brown
    The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
    All who see it will remember Me
    Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
    Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
    A reminder to all of my agony.”

    That is beautiful isn’t it? Let me see, my favorite flowering tree would have to be the southern magnolia. Have you ever seen one in bloom? They have huge white blooms as big as your head and smell devine. I love trees!

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  2. Renee on May 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I grew up in a large yard surrounded by dogwood trees and loved when they bloomed every year. I’m thinking about planting one in my (much smaller) front yard this year!

    Reply to Renee's comment

    • Renee on May 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

      edit: I did live in a house :)

      Meant “I grew up in a house with a large yard…”

      Reply to Renee's comment

  3. Mary W on May 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Redbuds. We had a volunteer come up in a corner of the yard and we’ve had to protect it from cicadas and the power company. We’ve planted the volunteers from this tree all around the yard. We love the delicate way the flowers cover the branches and the lovely heart-shaped leaves that turn a wonderful yellow in the fall.

    Reply to Mary W's comment

  4. Daedre Craig on May 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I think I like redbuds the best followed by flowering pear (although they are stinky). I have both on my property. The redbud hasn’t quite bloomed yet, but the pear is blooming in full force.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  5. Kathy on May 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Without a doubt, it’s the Redbud!

    Reply to Kathy's comment

  6. Kathy on May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Without a doubt, it’s the Redbud!

    Reply to Kathy's comment

  7. goatpod2 on May 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Ours have started blooming as well! I like crab apple trees, I just took 2 pictures of one of our crab apple trees yesterday and posted the pictures on my blog.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  8. Andrea Bruce-Niederer on May 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    It is a toss up between dogwoods and redbuds. I absolutely love both and where I live (intermountain west) they must be planted in a spot with afternoon shade. The dry air and intense sun is too much to be in the open. I am currently working on a spot for three of these fine specimens but which shall I pick? Pink flowering dogwoods such as ‘Cherokee Chief’ or the dark leaf ‘Forest Pansy’, redbud?

    Reply to Andrea Bruce-Niederer's comment

  9. MAYBELLINE on May 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm


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  10. Sincerely, Emily on May 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    where I live now, it is a toss up between Redbud and Magnolia.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  11. Kathryn | Alpacamundo on May 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Oh thank you for sharing these photos.

    The Dogwood has always reminded me of my Grandfather. I didn’t know him well. The last time I saw him he spoke of the Dogwood tree outside his window and how much he loved it.

    I haven’t seen one since (as far as I know) but noticed they had them at the tree farm last weekend. So I may have to find a place in my yard for one or two.

    I agree, Magnolia tree is fantastic but around here the Purple Leaf Plum is the winner in my book. :-)

    Reply to Kathryn | Alpacamundo's comment

  12. KimH on May 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    There are some beautiful yellow magnolias blooming right now at Holden Arboretum.. I think that one is my favorite.. Its just beautiful.

    I love the Dogwoods too but in N Tex, they dont grow well.. except for one hill east of town out in the middle of nowhere. No one knows how they got there or why they thrive.. but thrive they do.. And draw a crowd for a week or two while they’re in bloom. Its a total anomaly.

    I love your pictures.. I too take pics of trees and everything else :D

    Reply to KimH's comment

  13. Corner Garden Sue on May 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Those sure are pretty blooms! I don’t think I have a favorite blooming tree.

    Reply to Corner Garden Sue's comment

  14. […] This has been a wonderful year for the dogwood trees. Every couple years the weather works out perfectly and they’re spectacular – this is one of those years (for more photos see my post dedicated to the dogwood). […]

    Reply to Sunday photos: Bloom Day « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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