Undoubtedly the Legend of the Dogwood holds a special place in my heart as my beloved Grandfather mailed me a postcard from a business trip when I was a wee little girl, and the front of the card bore a photo of a dogwood tree, and next to the photo was this very same legend, which persists today.
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.” –Author unknown
At Eastertime, when dogwood trees in blossom abound in many regions, it is understandable that the legend would be revisited, as I have done today. It is a very beautiful tree and when I went in search of them this morning, I was certainly not disappointed. Indeed, many of the old homes near my own were bursting with their beauty. I offer them here for your pleasure.
As I spotted the green dogwood above I literally dragged a small ladder out of my car, placed it on someone’s lawn, climbed up and started shooting. Yes, I did. I noticed almost immediately a closed blind being peeked through, not surprisingly, and a minute later an older well appointed woman came out on the porch to see what I was about. “I’m a gardening blogger. I’m shooting your dogwood.” She seemed charmed enough and immediately was happy to volunteer that she had planted the tree many decades before from a wee small pot, she said. She assured me it was “a native plant” that a gentleman friend had brought to her and her husband after hearing “she liked plants.” It had apparently been growing on a large plot of land he had bought “for the wood” she said. The tree was the largest dogwood I had ever seen, nor was I aware that some bore pale green blossoms. It was quite extraordinary and I think the woman was very pleased I recognized its beauty.
Love and holiday blessings,
Posted on April 10th, 2009 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants