Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dogwood in Bloom

The dogwood in my garden is blooming beautifully this year for the first time. It escaped a late freeze that prevented bloom last year, and enjoyed a shot of rain recently that allowed the "petals" to fully unfurl. I put the word petals in quotes because they are really bracts, protective coverings for the flowers which look like a cluster of beads in the eye of the blossom.
The dogwood flower is a beautiful sign of spring, and it's rich in Christian symbolism. The four bracts represent the cross of crucifixion. Each sepal bears a mark representative of the nail marks in the hands and feet of Christ. The flowers in the center of the blossom represent the crown of thorns. The red berries that are often found on dogwood trees represent the blood of Christ.
Although dogwood trees are said to prefer moist, acid soil, it's obvious that the one in my yard is thriving in clay and in spite of a dry, difficult year previously. And, although it doesn't show in the photos I took above, behind the dogwood is blooming a beautiful lilac bush for the first time ever in my yard. A neighbor who always calls when her lilac blooms to make sure I get bouquets told me to help myself to the numerous suckers that had sprouted beneath her large shrub. After just 2 years the baby lilac produced enough flowers for me to cut my own bouquet!
And so my garden grows. Photos by JulenaJo.


  1. Gourdo's sisterApril 30, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    My white dogwoods in the front yard are covered with blossoms--more than any other year. Maggie's Magnolia was also beautiful.

  2. They're blooming here too Julena. I don't have one in my garden so I've been driving around looking for a sidewalk tree I can photograph up close. Your blossoms are lovely.

  3. There is nothing like a full-blooming pink dogwood in spring.