By the time I realized it was trying to become a flowering tree, several seasons had passed and it was taller than I was. My husband was preparing to purge the weeds that had cropped up, and the sapling was slated for removal.
It had burst into bloom as April yielded to May. Flowers with quartets of dimpled, waxy-white petals. I insisted it be allowed to live.
Even if it’s a weed, I said, it’s a pretty one. It flowers, and it works where it is. We like our neighbors, but our houses are close, so the lilacs, the fire bushes, the ornamental plum – and this scrappy little interloper, they work as a little bit of a privacy screen for those long sunlit months when we are all out of doors for hours at a time.
The young tree with its pretty plumage fits right in.
Last summer, I realized that the house two doors down has a more mature specimen in its front yard. My tree has a parent! My brave little weed might, in fact, have an identity!
Imagine my delight when a little Googling revealed that it’s a white flowering dogwood! There’s a lesson here, something about scrappy interlopers and waiting to see what flowers, but for my part I’m going to stand here under my canopy of flowers and enjoy the accidental dogwood.