Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where the Golden Dogwood grows

 After all the intense weather last week, our garden is enjoying some perfectly mild sunny weather. Our Yellow Barked Dogwood  is one of the plants that's proving spring is really here for good.

Back in August 2010 we were in the sad situation of needing to have our Kodie the Wonder Dog put to sleep. We wanted to bury him in the yard that he ruled like a canine king. Eventually we helped fill the hole in our hearts with another adopted dog, but what would fill the bare place in the yard over this very large dog's grave? While Ernst was in charge of the digging, I went off in search of a nice plant to have at the ready for the upcoming sad day.

Because it was a nursery I knew would be low stress, I headed over to Fair Oaks Boulevard Nursery. I walked in a bit teary-eyed and open for any suggestions they might have. A very kind employee approached me; I explained to her our situation and where this to-be-purchased plant would be in the yard. She gave it a few moments thought and then suggested a Yellow Barked Dogwood. Not only did she come up with a fitting suggestion, she said we would call it a Golden Barked Dogwood, since Kodie was a Golden Retriever. Then she did something that really surprised me. She said the nursery had such a plant, but it was not in very good shape and she would not want us putting it in to mark our dog's grave. She suggested I go to Green Acres Nursery and pick up a dogwood in better shape than the one they had.

I drove away in disbelief that someone would turn down a sale and send me to a competitor just because it was the right thing to do. I went to Green Acres and after another teary conversation with a kind employee, purchased a hand-picked dogwood. It now gives us a wonderful touch of bright yellow in the winter and these pretty white blossoms in the spring. And that is why I love the personal attention I get at the smaller independent nurseries dotted around town. If we shop at them, they will thrive.

Here's what else is going on in our spring garden:

The apple tree is in full bloom. And the bees have found it!

The rock roses I bought at Green Acres are happy and sprawling away.

And thanks a bunch to neighbors that plant beautiful climbing roses that tumble over our fence.

The White Trash Winter Garden is still going strong. We're on about the sixth harvest of lettuce and greens.