I had heard of Blackberry Winter, but when we moved to Kentucky people spoke also of Black Locust Winter and Dogwood Winter (there may be others I have yet to hear about). Each 'winter' occurs when that plant is in full bloom.
Dogwoods In Morning Fog
The Garden At Crocker Croft has just experienced Dogwood Winter. The dogwood trees have been at their breathtakingly beautiful peak. The horizontal layers of white have been floating. When the breeze stirs them they move gently. Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer said the movement reminds him of kelp moving in currents of the sea. Kelp?! To each his own.
The native dogwoods are healthiest when growing in the shade of larger trees. When I see them out in the woods, as we travel along interstate highways, they seem to be floating suspended between large trees and earth. Clouds and clouds of them.
I don't want to think about the disease that is spreading among them and is predicted to wipe out our lovely natives growing wild and in home gardens. I don't want to think about a world without them. I don't want to think about my great-grandchildren never seeing that fascinating, delightful sight, brightening the woodlands.
Not all cultivated dogwood trees bloom white. There are pink varieties of different tints and shades of pink; some are almost red. We have a few pink ones here in the garden.
This spring has been gentle so far. We were due a gentle one, it seems to me. Last spring the cold snap was a doozy. Here are a few photos from that one.
May I serve you a tulip of snow?
Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Jesus was crucified on a cross of dogwood timbers.
God said from that day forever the dogwood trees would never again grow large enough to make timbers that could be used for that purpose. The dogwoods became small trees growing in the understory.
The flower of the dogwood has four petals in the shape of a cross.
At the tip of each petal is a stain where the spike was driven into his hands and feet, and a crown of thorns was pressed into his flesh.
The center of the flower resembles the crown of thorns.
In autumn, bright red, clustered fruit in the center represents the blood of Christ.
The sweet trees bloom in April the same month as Easter Sunday, the celebration of Christ's resurrection after the Crucifixion.
May the legend live forever.
For God so loved the world...