When we first moved into our house I was ecstatic to find that the great big dogwood in our back garden was blooming. Out my kitchen window was a frill of lacy white branches, with just a hint of pink.
We began setting up our patio, gardening and playing under her boughs, enjoying her cool shade.
“Ouch!” began each boy. The previous owner had covered the ground with splinter filled wood chips. By evening Finn, Oliver, and Harry’s feet were swollen and covered with slivers.
That night the dogwood began dropping her petals. In two days time there was a carpet of white on the ground, a respite for the boy’s feet.
Finn took the move the hardest. He missed our old house (He still does sometimes) and most of all he missed our old tree house.
“Let’s see if you can climb the dogwood,” I said.
For hours on end my sweet blond haired adventurer would rustle up in the rigging of his very own leafy ship. A smile spread across his worried face, and the hurt in his anxious heart lifted.
We began calling her our “Giving Tree” like the one in Shel Silverstein’s book. The only thing that didn’t hold the same was that she had no fruit.
Yesterday I began to feel a little homesick. I missed my bracken, the sea air, and my sunny kitchen nook (of all things, when I used to always complain about not having a dining room!) I was trying to pull myself together and think of all the things that are so much BETTER about where we are, when I noticed something.
Our tree is not like other dogwoods. Her bark is smooth and mottled green, she’s much bigger than any other I’ve seen, and where once were flowers, big round orbs are forming, instead of the usual small red berries. I looked up our variety and found our tree is special.
image taken from slashfood.com
You can make wine or a spiced jelly out of the sweet pulpy flesh of the kousa fruit, or just eat them plain.
I am going to see if I can make a pie this fall, and I’ll do it in the window where I can see my tree the very best… because the Kousa Dogwood’s leaves turn a brilliant red! Joy of JOYS! She is the tree that seems to never ever stop giving!
She must love us very very much.