Monday, April 6, 2009

Dogwood Winter

Yesterday, Sunday was a beautiful warm day. One of those perfect days for quiet quality time, just enjoying the sights, sound and smell of nature. The azaleas, dogwoods and a host of other flowering trees, shrubs and plants are in their full-bloom period throughout the countryside of Itawamba County. I photographed the above scene on my front lawn. But overnight, colder weather returned to Mississippi. Some folks call this Dogwood Winter, when cold weather returns for a brief period while the Dogwood trees are in full bloom. Then there's Blackerry Winter, when the same happens while blackberries are blooming. It always seems we have a cold snap before and around Easter, and this is usually the last blast of cold weather. Freezing temperatures are being forecast for tonight and tomorrow night and for those who have already started their gardening, it will be a day to cover those tender tomato and pepper plants. I must say when I was growing up my grandmother always said to never plant anything in the garden until after Good Friday. I strongly suspect our elders knew what they were talking about.


Anonymous said...

To what do you attribute your beautiful azaleas? This photo reminds me so much about the azaleas growing in the east Texas "pine tree woods" in a line from Longview to Tyler to Nacogdoches where they appear to be in a natural setting such as the scene in your front lawn. We buy them and bring them into the city and have to plant them in two or three feet of peat and then it becomes touch and go to keep them growing. . . . thank you for sharing your touches of springtime. bettye

Bob Franks said...

Bettye, surprisingly I don't do anything. They just do their own thing. There are lots of pine trees in my yard and they get a natural coating of pine mulch each year. As azaleas like acidic soil, I suspect the pine needle mulch is what makes them grow.

Greta Koehl said...

How strange - I had never heard the expression "dogwood winter" before tonight, and now I have seen it twice within a few minutes (see Genealogy Fun at for the other occurrence).

Anonymous said...

To Greta's surprise at the expression, "Dogwood Winter", I would ask if she has heard "Blackberry Winter"? This was a rather chilly morning right after the blackberries had bloomed.

I would like to warn anyone wishing to plant a blackberry "bush or vine" to be very careful! A 60's acquaintance had this "neat" blackberry bush growing in her flowerbed and we enjoyed a dish of fresh berries with freshly whipped cream. Yum yum! Naturally I came home with a small rooting start. I nurtured that little rooting all summer and in the early spring, I was rewarded with a suddenly quite large vine attaching itself to the fence between our property and next door. We had enough birds in our area that we never saw one berry ripen! I blame the fact that the bush didn't produce berries on the vine for all the energy going into the root system. This one little vine sent such a root system out at least 20 feet in all directions (read "it also got out into he lawn area as well"!) I lost all my daisies and day lilies while trying to kill the blackberry "bush/vine" with Roundup.

My grandmother, Ila Sullivan Dyer never had a blackberry bush/vine near her house and the above problem I experienced must explain why she left them to grow wild out in the woodsy area of the cow pasture!

Grandmother always had homemade blackberry jelly and jams, and the "bestest" way she utilized the jam? she made a yummy blackberry jam cake. bettye

Bob Franks said...

I loved your comments Bettye. They brought back memories of blackberry pickings from childhood. I noticed on a walk I took, the blackberries are blooming in Itawamba County. And my grandmother made those blackberry jam cakes too. I had forgotten all about those!