Just at the height of a dreamy spring opener, a sobering hail storm came through last night, blasting tender little buds off branches and making a mess of the containers I naively filled with summer flowers and herbs. In southeastern US, such spring cold snaps are called “Dogwood Winters,” as farmers have learned to keep their eye on the lovely and native Cornus Florida trees and plant crops only after they flower.
And so before I go out to clean up the mess (“buh-bye, tomato seedlings, my bad…”), I’m going to take a moment to celebrate that gorgeous know-it-all, currently in flower and reminding us all that it’s still her time to shine.
Luckily I know other talented designers capable of giving Dogwood it’s due. The branches really excel in either in full length frothy form, filling design space with a effortless, almost anti-gravity kind of feel
or cut short or floating, all the better to appreciate the 4 flawless white or pink bracts (leaves, actually) that surround the inner chartreuse flower cluster.
I am also a fan of that Canadian Creative Genius, Christine deBeer and her ingenious use of twig armature for other flowers – which in addition to being stunning and clever, avoid the use of floral foam all together. Here she uses leafed out Dogwood shrub twigs, those pliable red branches that add eye-candy to the winter garden, reminding us again just how all-season and unstoppable Dogwood can be.
So go enjoy your Dogwood while you can. The tomatoes can wait.