Redbuds first, then dogwoods.

Redbuds in full bloom at Cherokee Country Club

Signaling spring’s arrival, this full-bloom redbud tree stands out agains the white exterior of Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville.

Although the highly anticipated white dogwood blooms (stars of Dogwood Arts Festival 2015) are making progress, they’re still in the half-open, pale green stage.  Lovely, but not in full bloom.  That’s just the way it is here in East Tennessee. You’re blessed with redbuds sporting their characteristic purplish blooms first.  And then the dogwood show begins.

We usually catch our first sight of redbuds as we’re driving along the interstate — their wispy, pinkish branches poking out among the new green of trees along I-40. But because we’ve lived in Knoxville since 1963 and have traversed every Dogwood Trail in the city, we’ve always associated the South Knoxville Trail, this year’s featured trail, with a profusion of redbuds.

 

Red Bud Road sign, South Knoxville

I headed out to what I thought would be the mother lode — Red Bud Road — not far off Chapman Highway.  But either I was too late to catch the show in a subdivision usually robed in purplish pink at festival time, or something has happened to the redbuds this year. They just weren’t open for viewing.

My best bet for viewing full finery actually appeared on the high-traffic corridors.  So back to Chapman Highway for a stunning tree at Berry Funeral Home, winner of a city Beautification Award.

Redbud tree in full bloom at Berry Funeral Home, Chapman Highway

Redbud tree in full bloom at Berry Funeral Home, Chapman Highway

Another old, old tree stood proudly beside the former Kern’s Bakery building (now empty) which has recently been purchased.  (Renovation — and an exciting new venue — is coming, I’m told.)

Former Kern's Bakery building looks ready for the festival with the classy, old redbud in full bloom.

Former Kern’s Bakery building looks ready for the festival with the classy, old redbud in full bloom.

It was not until I headed home detouring through Sequoyah Hills down Cherokee Boulevard that I spotted these prime redbud trees lining the walking path.

Redbuds lining the walking trail on Cherokee Boulevard.

Redbuds lining the walking trail on Cherokee Boulevard.

So I pulled over to photograph the rows of redbuds on the trail and this tree, centerpiece of a lovely garden spot in front of a historic home.

Lovely purple branches grace this garden spot on Cherokee Boulevard.

Lovely purple branches grace this garden spot on Cherokee Boulevard.

No wonder people love early-blooming redbud trees.  For color, stateliness, and delicate (albeit ephemeral) blooms, redbuds make elegant additions to any landscape. And for us, they herald the coming of spring with the festival’s signature dogwoods right behind.

If redbuds are in bloom, can dogwoods be far behind?

If redbuds are in bloom, can dogwoods be far behind?

Just another reason to visit Knoxville at Dogwood Arts Festival time.  But come early. Redbuds are ready.

For more information:

Dogwood Arts Festivalhttp://www.dogwoodarts.com/

Cercis canadensis, eastern redbud.” Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cercis_canadensis

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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6 Responses to Redbuds first, then dogwoods.

  1. Lynda says:

    I love these trees! So pretty – great shots.

  2. Pit says:

    Hi Shelley,
    Oh so beautiful, these redbuds. 🙂 I’m really enjoying the pictures, especially #3. Our redbud [http://tinyurl.com/q763od7] is tiny, compared to those, but then, deer keep nibbling at it. Yesterday we bought another one which I’m going to plant tomorrow, with a deer fence around it. We hope to be able to enjoy that in the years to come.
    Have great Easter days,
    Pit

  3. susanissima says:

    A the rosebud tree! One of the most beautiful trees ever. The Japanese snowbell is right up there with it and ours is just about ready to bloom!

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