Wednesday Vignette – one of the bright sides of fall

I gotta tell you – I think Dogwood trees are lovely. They are especially so when they lose their leaves and you can see their branching structure, and those wonderful little onion-dome buds. These were spotted in a client’s garden against the bluest skies we’ve seen this week. I just have to share – they make me happy!

   * * *

Speaking of happy – Happy Birthday to my sweet mother! I hope the universe grants you sun and blue skies on your day too, Mom! Love you!

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – one of the bright sides of fall

  1. tonytomeo says:

    When I grew dogwoods, I did not like them. They were more work than they were worth, and the foliage always got roasted. But clients loved them so much that it was hard to say anything bad about them. I know they did better in their gardens than they did in the nursery, although some of them went to climates that they probably should not have gone to. They certainly were pretty when they bloomed, even though I knew it would not last long, and that I would spend the rest of the season dealing with all their other problems. All I could do was enjoy the blooms while they lasted.

    • annamadeit says:

      I know – and I agree. Once they are done blooming, most of them look pretty ratty until they are bare, and in bud again. C. kousas do far better here than C. floridas. They don’t have the same pretty structure, but they aren’t as succeptible to anthracnose as the floridas, and they have that killer fruit. Then again, you’d get those with an Arbutus, too…

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, I know I would like dogwoods more if I were in a region where they were happier. They are exquisite in Western Oregon and Washington. I just dislike them here because they are as popular as they are, but in a climate that they are so unhappy about, and they are never as pretty as they are elsewhere. There are some pretty ones closer to the coast, but that still does not make it right. We have the same problem with Japanese maples!

        • annamadeit says:

          Yeah, I imagine California is way too hot for both… But really, Dogwoods up here in PNW don’t always look great either. I think they are first and foremost understory trees for woodland settings, and unless you can provide that (which most people can’t – see comment to Loree below), I’m convinced they are usually better substituted with something else. However, I am rarely successful in convincing people of that – they usually have that idea that the consumer is always right, and they can get what they want, regardless. Which often doesn’t work with plants…

          • tonytomeo says:

            They probably do not have much of problem with heat so much as they dislike the aridity. The Santa Clara Valley does not get very hot, but the air is quite dry. It is a chaparral climate. Consequently, undertory trees that might live out in the open up in more humid climates can get roasted in partial shade here. You know the vine maple? I happens to be my favorite substitute for the Japanes maple (because I really dislike Japanese maple), but even that does not like the air here.

          • annamadeit says:

            Yeah, I LOVE vine maples! Such a pretty tree – and native! Like so many other new transplants, I was nuts about Japanese maples when we first moved here. I think they are lovely in the right setting and with the right care, but I’m sick and tired of seeing those unpruned, frizzy, mostly red blobs grazing yellow lawns everywhere. Okay, I exaggerate, but not much. Vine maples take our dry summers far better than those little lace leaf ones. And, their fall color kicks ass!

          • tonytomeo says:

            YES! The color in autumn. I like them because they do sort of what Japanese maples do, without being Japanese maples.

  2. That’s much better looking than most of the dogwoods in my neighborhood!

  3. annamadeit says:

    You know, despite their persistent popularity, I honestly don’t think they are good neighborhood trees. The first time I saw them in bloom, it was as wild, understory trees in a wooded Ohio ravine, where their blooms were like lovely, ephemeral moths in the semi-light of the taller trees. I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were. I realize people want to transplant that little bit of perceived paradise into their own sunny lawns, but – like tonytomeo pointed out above- it doesn’t really work all that well. For most of the year, aside from their fleeting blooms and budding branches, most of the floridas truly do look like crap. Which is a bummer…

  4. bergstromskan says:

    Thank you dearest daughter Anna. The shining light here in Ohio today came from you Anna. These most beautiful Dogwood branches towards the unreally blue sky. And a phone call from you as extra bonus. I always have loved the elegant branches and buds of Dogwood. Of course the flowers adds extra beauty during during there short visit. We have a normal grey rainy November day here in Ohio, but it is brightened by messages from beloved family and friends calls and messages. I am so blessed. Much love to you Anna and your three boys.

  5. Kris P says:

    I adore dogwood when I see them in photos but there’s not a one that will grow in my region of SoCal to my knowledge. Best wishes to your mother on her birthday!

    • annamadeit says:

      Aw, thank you, Kris! I will be sure to convey the message! Dogwoods are fleetingly beautiful for sure – especially on those rather rare occasions where they are in their right environment. Often, they are so poorly placed, they just look sad for the majority of summer/fall.

  6. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Changing of the Guard – A Moveable Garden

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