Patsy Bell is a garden writer and Master Gardener Emeritus. She inherited her love of gardening from her grandmother and mother. Her favorite flower is whatever is blooming now. Her favorite season is whatever is next.

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The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
by Patsy Bell Hobson - posted 03/18/14

At one time the dogwood tree, know for it's hard wood, grew tall and straight. The tree was chosen as the wood used to build the cross used to crucify Jesus. This horrible act shamed the dogwood tree.

Sensing the tree's sadness and shame, the Lord told the tree it would never be used for such a purpose again. Today, the dogwood small tree grows small, thin and has crooked branches.

The flower of the dogwood tree represents the cross of Jesus' crucifixion. Two petals are longer and two petals are shorter, much like the wooden cross.

At the edge of each petal is a small round hole, representing the holes made by the nails of the cross. Dark with the blood, the center of the flower represents the crown of thorns.

The Legend of the Dogwood may simply be a legend and no more. It could be a beautiful illustration for a bible school lesson. Or, perhaps, it is just an Easter time remembrance.

If you have big old shade trees, you may still be able to grow a dogwood. As a native tree, we most often spot it in the springtime growing as an under story or second tier tree. It thrives at the edges of the woods and in the dappled sunlight beneath the taller trees. The shelter of your house can serve the same purpose for the little dogwood.



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