This falls into the good-things-come-to-those-who-wait category. With visions of a small tree full of delicate pink blossoms each May, the very first tree I purchased and planted after moving to our current home 16 years ago was a pink dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Rubra’). I’ve waited all these years for ‘masses of rose-pink flowers’ as promised by the plant tag.
I know, I know … this is not exactly ‘masses of rose-pink flowers’ but it’s certainly masses more than the small tree produced in previous years. If I saw one bloom I was lucky. Last year my little tree produced an historic bumper crop … three rose-pink flowers. (I have no photos to prove this since it was just too sad a sight to take photos of.)
But this year it finally decided to put on a decent show.
Now … in all honesty … my little dogwood had a different home before settling into its current location. I moved it after about two or three years. It’s only been resting in its current spot for about a dozen years or so. It also enjoyed a bit more sunshine last summer than it had in previous years … we had to remove a very large oak that shaded roof-mounted solar panels, as well as my dogwood.
Who knows exactly why this dogwood finally decided to put out masses of blooms. Was it finally feeling settled? Was it the additional light? Was it last season’s weather?
It gave me a hint last autumn that it was ready to be a bit more showy. Here it is trying to grab the autumn-reds show from neighboring winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’).
There’s the dogwood, in all its burgundy glory, behind the berry-laden winterberry. The dogwood looked better last autumn than it has in all the years we’ve shared garden space, and it held it’s burgundy color for a very long time.
Still, tainted from past disappointments, I did not hope for it to put out multiple blossoms.
But it did …
and I’m enjoying every second of the show.
I’ve been told by a local horticultural sage that flowering dogwood respond to a bit of abuse. Cutting into the root edges with a shovel, I was told, encourages it to bloom. I cannot say this advice works, or does not. My dogwood did not receive such treatment. All I know is that my dogwood had a bit more light last year than it had for many, many years before, and … maybe … after a dozen years in the same spot it finally feels at home and is ready to shine.