But the seasons don’t stand still, and neither must gardeners. Already the dogwood is sprouting tiny new buds and leaves, and soon those red branches will be hidden beneath a layer of green.
If you want to ensure a good growth of bright red branches next winter, you must be brutal. The branches have this intense colour during their first year only, and so we must reach for the garden tools and prepare for ruthless action.
Dogwood has nothing to do with dogs. Dag is the Old English word for spear, and may have Viking origins. Think of the English word dagger.
The best thing about cutting back the dogwood is that once the job is done, you can use those straight, fiery branches for their intended purpose.