Flowering Dogwood

Planting a dogwood in the back was one of the best gardening decisions I’ve made – that and the lilac. Every spring it breaks out into a ridiculous froth of flowers nearly as big as my hand; every fall we get leaf color and red berries; and throughout the winter it anchors the structure of the garden (when so much else just disappears down to the ground!)

To me no garden that can grow dogwoods is complete without one, especially since they’re so easy to grow. While not fragrant, it’s vigorous (it’s grown about three feet in three years) and even seems to thrive in our boggy MD summers. And  as long as you don’t plant it in large groups, it has minimal susceptibility to its archenemy anthracnose. Sun or shade, it will do just as well as long as it has enough water.

It will never be a big tree – probably reaching about 30 feet if we’re lucky – but it’s just perfect to design a garden around. It makes me sad to know that I’ll never see this particular one fully grown. Maybe I’ll drive by in another ten years to see – if the next owners leave it alone – how big it’s gotten.

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