Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In the Land of the Dogwood

Cornus florida, or dogwood, is the state flower of North Carolina .  I was so pleased to see this beloved tree flowering in most every garden and forest here.  When I first moved to Chicago and started my garden, it was one of the first trees I planted .    A transplanted Southern belle like myself, my dogwood wasn't happy at all with the harsh winters and late Spring frosts that nipped it in the bud most years.

 As you may know the dogwood was hit hard by antracnose and its number have decreased by significant amounts.   Disease-resistant cultivars are being developed and so in the future we may be able to see them more in abundance. 

 In the forest that edges my home I see three or four young dogwoods beneath tall pines.    Planted by and cared for by Mother Nature, they impart such cheer to an otherwise drab scene. 

As a child I heard the Southern legend of the dogwood .  Folks said that it was the tree from which the cross that Christ was crucified on was made and that the blossom, shaped like a cross, bore blood stains at the edges and a crown of thorns in the center. 

When I get my own garden the dogwood will be on the top of my list of Spring-flowering trees  .



  1. Hi Carolyn,

    I have a Pagoda Dogwood in my small back garden and it is beautiful when in bloom. It is my only tree in the back so I look forward each year to its beautiful flowers.


  2. Hi Eileen,

    I'm a big fan of the pagoda as well. It's shape is very unique and it is treasured in the Asian style garden.

  3. The dogwoods were glorious around Chapel Hill this year! BTW, check out the "Sisters Garden" on Gimghoul Road. These elderly twins (hope they're still alive as they were in their 90s the last time I was by there) have a beautiful spring garden. They'll have a sign in the yard "the garden is open" if it's okay to walk around their yard and garden.

  4. And still are, Freda. There are so many in the forests as well as gardens. I'll certainly check out the Sisters Garden. Thanks for the tip.


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