The Reason I Joined the Gardens in the First Place

This tree, right here. Is my arboreal soulmate. If such a thing exists. I grew up with a deep affection for dogwoods for many reasons I’m sure you will find boring. But – if you lived in Knoxville, TN – you would understand. There’s a Dogwood Arts Festival every year and they paint a pink trail around town touring you around the prettiest dogwoods in the area. I became a hater of late frosts at a young age because they seemed to always take down our dogwoods.

Then, when I lived in Florence, AL, I heard about this dogwood in Huntsville. It is over 100-years old and was transplanted to the Botanical Gardens because of a road widening project that was going to take it out. Dogwoods are a bit fragile and this tree defied all odds by surviving the transport to become one of the cornerstones of our Gardens. I used to have a poster of it in my apartment back in Florence, I loved it so much.

YET SOMEHOW – I miss photographing it in full bloom EVERY YEAR. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

All weekend I kept commenting about how full the dogwoods look this spring. Everyone in every yard seems to have twice as many blossoms as they had last year. I mean, I must have pointed out 50 of them to MrZ throughout the weekend saying, “See! Pretty!”

But did it occur to me to go see the one at the Botanical Gardens? The Botanical Gardens I’m a member of and visit sometimes twice a week? No. Because I’m an idiot.

Then the talk of freeze warnings crept up on Monday and it hit me: SHIT. The dogwoods are going to die and I missed photographing the one at the Botanical Gardens AGAIN.

I don’t know if the freeze actually hit the Gardens or not, there were mixed reports around town. But – NikkiZ and I were there as soon as the weather warmed up today. The blossoms were a bit brown around the edges in places, but other than that? Perfect.

And for the rest of the week, you will have to deal with me uploading 90 million pictures of the damn tree, okay? There’s your warning. There will be some that have my daughter in them, as she took the opportunity while playing inside the tree to POOP. And her poop face surrounded by dogwood blossoms is about the most hilarious thing you’ll ever see.

19 thoughts on “The Reason I Joined the Gardens in the First Place”

  1. Beautiful!!! (and hilarious!) Oh, I have myriad reasons for my deep love of dogwoods also. Grew up in Decatur, GA, and mom was a native Knoxvillian. (Is that a word, Knoxvillian?) My worst mistake as a child was testing out my new pocketknife by stripping the bark of one of our dogwoods. That’s when my mom’s hair turned white, and I learned about trees being living things. 🙂
    Thanks for the dogwood pics–made my day.

  2. Oh you are wicked! But I meant that in the nicest possible way. I feel the same way about the cherry tree at the end of our street, every year it always stops me dead in my tracks with my jaw open on the day it decide’s to bloom.

  3. Wow that is a gorgeous tree, I may have to visit Knoxville just to see that.

    I love the poopin’ amongst the dogwoods, perfect!

  4. It still looks like winter up here. That means we have no leaves on the trees, and we certainly don’t have any dogwoods blooming yet! I would like to insert myself into your picture and enjoy that tree in person!

    Last year, our dogwood had flowers on it for the first time (it’s a wee on and about four years old), and it’s grand total at the end of it’s blooming season was two flowers. This year, if looking at the buds on it are any indication, it might have a stellar year of up to seven flowers. I am so proud of the little guy.

    I would say I have another two weeks to go before I will find out, however. The only thing blooming here right now are the crocuses!

  5. I know how you feel about dogwoods. I’m from Virginia and we have them all over the place. I’ll be honest, my heart does skip a beat when I see one in bloom. In fact, I love them so much, I have a tattoo of three blossoms with “Made in Richmond” written underneath.

  6. NikkiZ is so funny.

    Gorgeous tree. I joined the NY Botanical Garden in December. I haven’t been there yet in 2008 because it is still too cold for me. I’m hoping the rose garden will make it worth it.

  7. that is an amazing picture!!! I love it. I am all about the night blooming jasmine myself….it may not be as gorgeous as the dogwood, but the scent is to die for.

  8. That’s a beautiful shot of the dogwood. My bff lives in Knoxville now (she moved there last year) and I’ve been hearing all about the dogwoods.

    The look of determination on NikkiZ’s face? Priceless. LOL You are evil 😉

  9. What a beautiful tree! In my (very, very small) hometown there are flowering crabs lining the main street. For about 2 weeks in May they are so pretty. I just hope that spring would hurry up and get to us Northerners. On Friday my 2 year old and I made a giant snowman!

  10. My god. Can that tree be my arboreal soul mate, too? It is just absolutely GORGEOUS. Still a long while until trees blossom up here (I’m all excited over a few green buds sticking out from the branches).

  11. Last time I made a Spring time visit to my parents in Harvest, I took about a million pictures of the same tree. It’s amazingly beautiful.

  12. oooOOooo…love Dogwoods (never knew what they were called until this post. how sad am I?) & Cherry Blossoms! There’s a park in our area that has TONS of cherry blossoms. ..hmmm…we should check them out soon or we’ll be too late (again).

  13. Pooping while standing, no less. That’s the sign of a helluva woman one day.

    Tree’s pretty too. If I decided to poop under a tree, it would be my first choice.

  14. skurvy – Skurvy Rocket City, Southeast, United States I am a wife, mom, video game enthusiast, bookworm and Disney-loving former band geek. My life is always an adventure. I live in Rocket City with my husband, Caradorn (the Rocket Scientist and all-around geek) and our son, The Kidd.
    Skurvy says:

    I saw an ad last night for the Botanical Garden plant sale this weekend, and it said that for the first time they are selling seedlings from the giant dogwood. The member day is today and then it is open to the public till Sunday. I’m thinking I’ll have to go get a seedling!

  15. supertiffx365 – join your favorite supertiff as she celebrates thirty years of super by remembering a person from her past in thirty words, everyday, for a whole damn year.
    supertiff says:

    the tree is amazing–i don’t think i’ve ever seen a dogwood tree, and now i feel like i’ve been missing out–but, that pooping picture?
    way better.
    just the best.

  16. Long time reader, but just now commenting. I LOVE the dogwoods. I actually grew up in East TN and I was back there last weekend and it was beautiful…

    I had no idea you had some history in Knoxville. My husband and I are getting ready to move back there in a few months. Ahh, dogwoods.

  17. Awesome. The tree in bloom is awesome. The expression on NikkiZ is awesome. Can’t wait for our trees to bloom. Maybe I’ll start carrying my camera with me, you’ve inspired me.

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