Home Gardening Dogwood Bough Under a Big Dipper Sky

Dogwood Bough Under a Big Dipper Sky

Dogwood Bough Under a Big Dipper Sky

Dogwood bloom close-up "Cloud 9"My front porch is for company, the back porch for me. It’s my take-five spot, a compact stoop just barely big enough for a big guy and two big bulldogs. The paint-deprived rail supports an arm’s reach and everything from a cup of coffee to a cordial to a tumbler of ice tea. In the morning, I watch the robins scratch for breakfast, and the marine layer burn off. At night, I greet the Big Dipper, and ask the stars for favors and the heavens for guidance. Pond frogs interrupt, dancing headlights and barking dogs join their cause. When clear nights prevail, the Big Dipper dazzles without fail.

As fine a view as my porch provides, the vantage point just improved thanks to a new tree in the garden. Planted under the North Star and the Big Dipper, the dogwood was a gift from my friend Mary Ann, who wished to honor my father’s memory in this special way.

On our nursery field trip to find the perfect tree, we perused a neat forest of potted beauties, but nothing really struck us (except a couple of low branches). We repeated our stroll, and were set to leave empty handed when we spied a handsome specimen in a missed corner.

Looking at the tag, I had to laugh; it read Cloud 9. At first I joked, divine intervention. Upon closer inspection, a second label confirmed my supposition and quelled my flippancy; it read half price. Yep for my Dad, a man who appreciated value and thrift, this was a match made in heaven.

English Bulldogs Boz and Gracie before the Dogwood TreeGracie and Boz were quick to make another point: “Dogwood, need we remind you it’s called a DOGwood? Bow, and Bough wow!”


  1. What a lovely, perfect, tree. I like the way Gracie and Boz are take charge in letting you know that tree is very important to them since it is in their ancestry or family tree or something like that.

  2. “At night, I greet the Big Dipper, and ask the stars for favors and the heavens for guidance.” That is a great turn of phrase.

  3. I so absolutely love how you write and honestly, you make me feel like I’ve been there on your back porch too checking out the stars and listening to the frog serenade! Gorgeous photo’s and a lovely tree. Divine intervention – you betcha’. No doubt!

  4. Tom,
    What a nice gesture of your friend Mary Ann. Nothing wrong about getting things at discount rate. I love that!
    Now you have Gracie, Bozz and the other dog..wood.
    These trees remind me of NYC early Spring. Good times…

  5. Awww, Tom this is too sweet! I don’t believe in coincidences – this tree was ready for your garden…and perhaps your dad was sending his blessings along too. 🙂

  6. After a long haul at middle school I sit in my back garden… I SEE bees, acanthus molis, green grass, apple blossoms, the cedar tree… I HEAR bees, dogs barking, the train down on Ruston Way, crows arguing, a pretty bird song… I am so thankful for this. And for friends, children I love, Emma and Tess, my sweetie pie, good kids, the sun.. the moon… the stars…

    I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. Love to you Tom, Boz, Gracie and all our friends.

  7. As always, Tom a beautiful post and a beautiful
    picture of that gorgeous tree and….. your ‘fur’ babies!!

  8. How did I miss this? Cornus is my favorite species!!!. Take a look at this beauty. I’m on a waiting list for seeds that will almost certainly die once potted but I can’t help myself..

    google, Cornus florida ‘Urbiniana’

  9. Stupendous. We always want what we can’t have don’t we?. I’d trade a Koelreuteria bipinnata for either of those Cornus beauties any day 😉


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