Dogwood Days

When we bought our old house, it was called “Eveland” after the former owner. Somehow I didn’t think “Barbland” had quite the same ring to it, don’t you agree? And besides, I had a backup name I’d been carrying in my pocket for years.  We honeymooned in Bermuda and stayed at a manor house in Hamilton called “Rosedon.” We joked to each other that if we ever had a house worthy of a name, that’s what it would be. Yeah, right. Like that would ever happen.

So when the time came, it was a snap to rename our old barn. Rosedon, it is. Had I known then, however, that its original name back in 1915 was “Dogwood,” I might have gone back to that. No matter now.

I tell you this because in front of our old house is an ancient dogwood. I like to imagine the original owners planting it.

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Each year I hold my breath to see if it will survive the winter and give us a spring bloom. So far, so good.

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I am happy to report that this fall the old girl has produced abundant, glorious red berries! More than I have ever seen before. I think it is a happy harbinger of another spring show.

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Dogwood foliage and the omnipresent Berkley.

 

And speaking of dogs…..we were, weren’t we? Beloved Husband has been in Asia for absolute ages. Max is growing impatient for the truck to come rumbling up the driveway:

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The Sentinel awaits….

Have a great weekend!
Barbara

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About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. Blogging about whatever happens to catch my fancy - sometimes nonsense, occasionally not.
This entry was posted in Garden, The Barn, The Boys and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Dogwood Days

  1. ritaroberts says:

    Who would have thought that knarled old tree in the first picture would have blossomed to look so beautiful Barbara . I love trees and shrubs. And talking of names. I always like to name houses and animals after popular OLD places or after FAMOUS people. Our first house was called “AVALON ” from King Arthur
    My little Westie named Tilly, after Vesta Tilly the famous music hall star. However our house now is named “Ex Libris ” because it was an old library.

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    • Rita, I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for you and your study of Ancient History than to be in a house called “Ex Libris.” I just love that and you must do a post showing us a house that was once a library. It must be so charming. Wonderful!

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  2. Your lovely Dogwood has quite the will to live. Around here they blossom after the leaves are fully out. What is that magnificent tree in your last picture?
    I like meaningful names as well. Daughter wanted to name her little white rescue Clover but I named her Pumpkin after the Geisha in Golden’s novel. Golden’s Pumpkin had trouble with her teeth during WWII and our Pumpkin had dental, among other physical issues, when she first came to live with us. Our Pumpkin is now happy and healthy, and she’s quite graceful and delicate.

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    • There is a variety, Kousa Dogwood, which blooms after the leaves emerge. Maybe that’s what you have growing around you, Linda. The tree in the last picture is the big old oak I talked about a bit in my shade garden post. Isn’t that branch amazing?

      It’s been years since I read “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Pumpkin is a wonderful name for your delicate and graceful canine geisha. I hope her tooth trouble is behind her. Names are important, aren’t they?

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  3. What an absolutely lovely tree! I love the white blooms against the bare trunks in the background – just gorgeous. I have a soft spot for flowering trees… and the added bonus of late season berries makes them even more valuable in my eyes! Your property is simply gorgeous, Barbara. I think Rosedon suits it very nicely, indeed! 🙂 MH

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    • Thank you, MH. I rather love the old Southern tradition of giving your house a meaningful name. I know it happens elsewhere too, but here it is almost commonplace. And your exquisite English cottage? Might it have a name as well? I think it should….

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      • Oh, I would hate to be a postman or pizza delivery person in England… many, many houses are named! In fact, there are probably as many named houses as numbered. Whole roads full of names – what a nightmare for finding addresses! Mine? But of course it is named… Ragmans Castle. No, seriously. That’s its name. I think someone was having a bit of a laugh… 🙂 While not quite on par with Windsor, my English home is, indeed, my castle!

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      • Ragmans Castle! Simply divine, dahlink, and I can imagine the laughs you’ve had with that one.I wonder what the origins of that name are. And Virginia lifted its tradition of house naming straight from Mother England, I suppose.

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      • Here a ragman was a person involved in the clothing trade, I believe… our lane also bears the name. But yes – I never fail to get at least a smile if not a full blown laugh when I give my house name! And for those who have actually been here, its irony is even more evident! This ain’t no castle… in fact, it is the anti-castle!

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      • Anti-castles are good, just ask Marie Antoinette with her Petit Trianon, right? My mom remembers a rag man on the streets of Stuttgart when she was a child who gathered, well, rags. Not sure what they did with them, MH, but I guess somebody made a living off them.

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  4. purpleviolas says:

    What a beautiful tree I just love old trees they have such character and I sometimes wish they could tell the stories of all the people who passed them by. Enjoy your lovely home.

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    • You and me both, PV. I feel exactly as you do when I look up at the old oaks and wonder what the world was like the day they first popped out of the soil. Civil War cannons booming in the distance? The mind reels with possibilities. Thank you!

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  5. nrhatch says:

    Hope your beloved husband comes home soon. Your dogwood is beautiful but Rosedon also suits your “barn.”

    We’ve only named one of four of our houses ~ a raised ranch on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay bears a nameplate, “The Aerie.”

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  6. Ah, I can imagine your (and the pup’s) impatience for your husband’s return.

    How did you learn that the name of the house is Dogwood?

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    • Maggie, I was doing research on this house at the Historical Society. It is a source of constant frustration to me that the oldest photograph extant of Rosedon is a godawful thing taken in the 80s. There is no mention of the house in the extensive book of county history in their library, but one of the ladies there was old enough to remember that in her day, the house was called Dogwood.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Parnassus says:

    Hello Barbara, I agree that Eveland has a great sound–rhymes with Cleveland. A lot of the best house names are from the South, with its Sir Walter Scott, Southern Romantic tradition: Shadows-ion-the-Teche, Roselawn, Belle Grove, etc., etc. Some Northern houses have appealing names too, for instance Akron’s great Stan Hywet, meaning Stone Quarry. Once I was doing research on some old houses, and I discovered their names by looking up the owners in old Blue Book/Social Registers. I think it was the first time in 100 years that someone had even opened these books!
    –Jim

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    • Re: (Cl)eveland. You can take the boy out of Ohio…..
      Jim, I’m writing a post as we speak which includes a photo of Belle Grove. Talking a bit about Frances Benjamin Johnston among other things. I have a photo of Rosemount but no Roselawn, I’ll have to look for that one, I guess. The Social Registers have always fascinated me. Sort of our Burke’s Peerage, I guess. How sumptuous were the books themselves? Huge and imposing?

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  8. dorannrule says:

    As always, a beautiful story Barbara! What living thing wouldn’t bloom and thrive under your care? Yes, I do understand that determined old tree. And the doggies? I love them without ever having met them “in person.” I’ll bet they will be ecstatic when your husband finally comes down the drive. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Dor! Oh yes, there will be quite the reunion complete with Max doing his whirl-a-gig tail. That’s when he wags it so fast it spins in back of him like a little propeller! Too funny!! I rarely earn this reaction, by the way.

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  9. Eliza Waters says:

    I love the photo peering out from under the tree toward the house, how it frames the view. I really like your green door – snazzy! That Max tugs at my heart. Our lab used to sit with her head on the windowsill waiting for my spouse to come home at the end of the day. Such over-the-top devotion. 😉

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    • You like that green door, Eliza? Me too! I better like it because it is not getting painted any time soon according to you-know-who. Ohhhh, your lab put her head on the windowsill? That is so sweet. The big dogs can do that and stare soulfully outside with such devotion, as you say. Max, in particular, loves his Daddy. I am fine, but BH hung the moon in his mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sandra says:

    The bark on that tree is truly amazing. And the pining pup is tugging at my heartstrings. Lovely photos.

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  11. Jodi says:

    We have a few of these old dogwoods in our front yard too, Barbara! And I similarly hold my breath each year because Hubby threatens to cut down if they don’t :). They’ve come through the past 14 years! I love them. And hope Daddy gets home soon to Max and you!

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    • Hi Jodi, are your dogwoods the white or the pink? Fourteen years is a good long time for a dogwood to survive through harsh PA winters, I think. When we moved here, there was another dogwood way back in the yard which was dead but extraordinarily beautiful in its form, very sculptural. We don’t have neighbors who would complain (the cows have no opinions on these things) so we left it until it fell over in a storm. I guess when this one poops out we’ll have to cut it down too. I will not be happy that day!!

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  12. John says:

    Gorgeous old tree! I spent a honeymoon in Bermuda in the late 80’s. Stayed at the Sonesta which was blown over by a hurricane a few years after. That marriage didn’t last either. Bermuda is beautiful!!

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    • One thing I love about blogging is how quickly a post can make the leap from one subject to another – lickety-split! Sorry about your marriage but I had a clue from you spending “a” honeymoon in Bermuda. I pick up on these subtle clues, John. LOL.

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  13. Sue Mayo says:

    My Dogwoods have lots of berries too but the birds have a picnic on them everyday.

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  14. What a gorgeous tree. And I do love to see your Westies. I live a sort of vicarious dog-owning life through your doggie photos. 🙂

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    • Good! Although I’m not sure that’s enough, H. We need to wage a subtle, yet effective, campaign against Mr. MoSy. Show him that picture of Max pining away for his Daddy. That’s a good start.

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      • Funnily enough, I’ve just got off the phone from my sister-in-law’s father who is minding their dog while she and my brother are in Africa for a year. They have to go away for 5 days in November and he wondered if we could have the dog. I said I’d have to get back to him. Send me strength for that conversation…..

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      • H., is that husband dislikes dogs in general or has had a difficult experience with one? Is your brother’s dog a good one or would he tear up the whole house? That could set back our campaign indefinitely.

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      • He likes dogs and had dogs growing up. His arguments are that a. we don’t have a suitable yard (we live on a very steep block and the back is terraced upwards); b. he doesn’t want the dog in the house but thinks it unfair to leave one outside all the time and c. he doesn’t think the resident cat would like it. Like I said, logical and sensible and basically annoying.
        Dog in question is a live wire but Husband is familiar with her so we’ve got our eyes open.
        He’s gone to cricket. I was too chicken to talk to him before he left. 😀 And I’m out this evening helping at the theatre so I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow. Shucks.

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      • Husband is absolutely right on all three points, I hate to admit. Perhaps we should concede this battle and live vicariously, as you suggested in the first place. Providing temporary care to the live wire might be a good cure-all for the whole matter!

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      • My life is cursed with sensible people…. 😛

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  15. dorothy says:

    So happy thst gorgeous dogwood is surviving. We lost our white one of 42 years last year from disease. I’ll always miss that tree as it was such a show in spring and fall. Lots of berries this year..ls the Almanac on target this year for a severe winter.sure hope they’re wrong, Just hang on Max..he’s on the way……….

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    • So sorry about your dogwood. It is true, they say, that the life span is about fifty years. I am fantasizing that the original owners here planted mine. I sure hope we are basking in warm temperatures in February and laughing at the Almanac’s predictions. Just not up for winter already.

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  16. reocochran says:

    I absolutely love the idea of calling your home, Rosedon! it would be appropriate to call it Dogwood, too. I had to stop and think was the old comic strip called Dogpatch, where the girl chased the boy in her ‘Daisy Dukes’ shorts? (I can tell you don’t mind ‘tangents’ in your comments!) My Mom’s dogwoods were both white and pink. Her favorite color has always been pink, her name is Rosalie. I adored this post with more about Berkely, your home and your sweet partner, who on your honeymoon agreed with the name. You have a wonderful love story and I admire how you live your life, sharing it generously! I will hope and pray your husband makes it home very soon from Asia, safe and sound. I love the olive green door, Barb! (I am only briefly going to say my Mom’s ‘order’ for our formal living room tree was all ornaments had to be pink, rose, green, olive green and gold! Our family room tree was the folksy style, handmade ornaments with reds, greens, golds and little Raggedy Ann’s and Andy’s.) My Mom had a bright pink door on one of our homes and a less bright olive green door. She would love your home and I will get her to look at it, when I visit her in one week, for 10 days! smiles!

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    • Are you kidding, Robin? I love tangents. My whole life is a big tangent. And when I see a comment pop in from you, I’m never sure just where it will end up, but it’s always a fun ride! So we ended up at Christmas with a Mom named Rosalie and a bright pink door. See? I just never know….And yes, it was Daisy Mae and Li’l Abner in Dogpatch all those years ago. Daisy Dukes were those shorts worn in….I can’t remember the show now…..two race car driving brothers? Have great fun visiting your mother. Smiles right back at you!

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  17. Diane Ahlberg says:

    What a wonderful story Barb-
    How interesting that your homestead was once called Dogwood- and as I always do I imagine what went on in homes like yours in days gone by. Imagine laughter, holidays etc
    You obviously were meant to be there – so like the original owner who took care in planting the dogwood with such care as you plant each bush or flower with the same tenderness!
    Thanks for sharing- safe travel home Roger!

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  18. M-R says:

    What a gorgeous tree, Barbara !I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, and I’ve lived in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales … I wonder if we have ’em …? I shall check. Anyway, it’s a ripper of a tree, and I hope it continues on for years and years and years in your house called “Dogw—” “Rosedon”. [grin]

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  19. Joanne Butler says:

    What an amazing gift from mother nature! Who else could produce a twisted, wrinkled, crooked tree trunk and have it become a thing of beauty! Your love of nurturing plants and cultivating the grounds surrounding Rosedon must give this old dogwood the will to keep on going! “Produce, produce produce!” it tells itself, “I must show off for the rest of the garden!” Well, at least it sounds like a good reason!
    Max is indeed a tortured but devoted pup! He knows you too are missing the main man and now is waiting his return with bated doggy breath! Hope hubby gets back to all of you safely and soon,
    Love, Joanne

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    • Good morning, Joanne. There is just nothing like the love of a devoted dog, is there? I sent this picture to Roger in Taiwan to give him incentive to get home soon! I so agree with your lovely observations about Mother Nature – the real Master Gardener. Sometimes we need to stand back and just admire her work. I hope the old tree is with us for many years to come but I’ll take it a year at a time. XXX

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  20. Are dogwood berries edible? If so, what an abundant crop that old dogwood tree produced. Lovely foliage, too. I hope Max won’t have to wait too long for his Dad to come home. 😉

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  21. bkpyett says:

    Barbara your photos show what a magnificent garden you have. I love dogwoods. I’m glad you finally had the opportunity to used ‘Rosedon’ though. Your dogs are adorable!! Hope the master returns soon, to settle them down. 🙂

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    • The master is on a plane this morning. M-R wasn’t sure if you had dogwoods in Australia; by your comment, I assume you might? In any event, thank you so much and I enjoyed your flora from the other side of the world this morning.

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  22. KerryCan says:

    Now, that’s a tree! The gorgeous old bark is as pretty as its blooms. Dogs and dogwoods–the makings of a great post. 😉

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  23. Dianna says:

    I think it’s rare for a dogwood to be so large. I was blogging friends with a woman who (along with her husband) recently opened a B & B at Belle Grove – wonder if it’s the same one you’re writing about?
    Love the picture of your pooch, waiting for his master to return.

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  24. This is such a beautiful post, Silver. I loved the tree….trees are much on my ind right now. And Max. What a beauty 🙂

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  25. fadedvelvet says:

    Barbara~ the Dogwood is beautiful – we too have a Dogwood that came with our home. The original owner’s sons said they planted it for their mother. They were glad we didn’t remove it….sadly it did not make it through the harsh winter this year.
    You have really motivated me to name our home too. I thought about it when we first bought it, but somehow just forgot. Any ideas????
    Love your dog photos…they crack me up!
    Donna~Faded Velvet

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    • Naming your house. Hmmm, there are so many possibilities, aren’t there? You could do a variation on your names. I saw on IG that Mario Pollan is naming his farm after himself and Daniel: Mardan Farms. Or you could pick a feature on the property like Poplar Hill. Or someplace in the world you’ve loved. What would Carmen Miranda do? Hey, how about a slight Spanish twist? Velvet in Spanish is “terciopelo.”

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  26. agwink1942 says:

    That is a beautiful Dogwood tree Barbara. I always loved springtime when living on the farm, because the woods were filled with Dogwood trees, and those beautiful white feathery branches filled the eye everywhere I looked. Living in town is more convenient, but definitely not as pretty as the farm. I have my memories though, so my life is perfect.

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  27. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. Wonderful how reassuring and cheering observing the life of nature through the cycle of seasons can be. You have a lovely, noble tree there! Regards Thom.

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  28. joannesisco says:

    I’m not familiar with dogwood trees. I wouldn’t recognize one if I walked into it … but your photos are gorgeous. It sounds like they deliver everything – beautiful floral display in the spring, large shady branches, and colourful berries.

    I’ve never lived anywhere that was grand enough to warrant a name. In this case, Dogwood sounds like a great name – and I’m guessing the furry four-legged family member would agree 🙂

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    • Hi Joanne, they are a southern thing, y’all, and would never survive the Great Frozen North. But someday you might venture down South during spring and see them putting on their snowy show. It’s pretty amazing! Down South the tradition of naming the homestead, grand or not, still holds. Up north it seems to be something they do more for beach houses. Canadians maybe not at all?

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  29. lbeth1950 says:

    Such a lovely home. I always bond with the trees before the house. I must be a Druid. This story really called out to me.

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