Friday, January 3, 2014

The Pink or White Dogwood

            The Dogwood has with it a legend.
            At the time of the crucifixion, dogwoods had reached the size of the mighty oak tree they say. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus' cross. To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. "Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.
            In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember.

            It is true that the Dogwood is not a stalwart among the trees; plant it facing the west and northwest winds and you will be planting something else in its place the next year. Forget to give it its weekly 1 inch ration of water and you’ll be back at the garden center picking out something a little more robust.
            It does like the protected areas, areas that resemble the edge of the east side of the woods; the east side of your house would be ideal, or any other spot protected from the ravages of high winds.  
It doesn’t mind a little shade, and it does take a few years typically to start their flowering cycles Being a flowering tree the ground should be fertile; mimicking the natural surrounding of  the edge of the woods with its layer of decaying leaves should tip you off as to its eating habits.
            It is true, they don’t get very tall, around 30 to 40 feet; but there is nothing prettier than a
pink or white Dogwood in full bloom in the early spring.

            I have serious doubts about the legend; I believe Jesus had us solely on His mind, and not the feelings of a tree. But it does make me look at the Dogwood
                                                                 and  give thanks
                                                                 for such a great
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