Watch the courtyard, the redbuds will bloom soon. You can’t miss their purple-pink blooms. Check the woods, there may be more growing wild. As they reach full height they’ll provide shade for our crimson-leaved Japanese maple. Shade’s a good thing—Japanese maples sunburn easily.
Then our entry dogwoods will bloom before they put out leaves. Susie, our administrator, can see their cute button-shaped buds from both her windows.
We are blessed with white oaks overhanging the shed and the children’s classrooms. A pair of live oaks scatter their small long leaves and many acorns around the entry walk. At work parties we often sweep to tidy up the entrance.
Outside the minister’s office, a magnolia grandiflora produces flowers a foot across. If you happen to park in the small lot at the other end of church there’s one there too. Their huge leaves are green on one side and a deep russet brown on the other; no need to rake them up —just enjoy their beauty.
Down at the south end of church we have lots of Loblolly pines. Surprise, loblolly is not an Indian name but old English for a mud puddle! In eastern NC loblolly is a local term for a natural pocket or depression. They’re also called old-field pines due to how they take over abandoned, worked-over, and worn out fields.
Sweet bay magnolias bear sweet lemon-scented blooms and luckily we have a lot of them. They are easy to spot at the bottom of the bank where they are growing naturally in the waters of Kings Creek. Just look for their shiny evergreen leaves catching the sun.
The trees of CVUU are cared for year round during work parties where we mulch, water, and prune. If you’d like to meet them up close, join our 30-minute Tree Tour Sunday, February 16 immediately after service. Meet me in the courtyard!
Barbara Perry Gelzer is an experienced horticulturist and Chair of CVUU Grounds Committee. She moved to Virginia from the Dallas/Fort Worth area where was active member of the Horizon UU Church and worked in the wholesale nursery trade. She has also served as Landscape Coordinator at the Chesapeake Arboretum.