Cherry Blossoms

Every year for the past century, the discarded remains of thousands of cherry blossom trees have littered the streets of DC. In an annual celebration of plant procreative proclivities, not unlike the rare Treegasm festival in New York City, millions flock to our nation's capital to witness the baring-all of these delicate flowers.

Unfortunately, this year, many folks missed the show because of the weather's unseasonable warmth. As a frequent National Cherry Tree pruner and recycling volunteer during the Cherry Blossom Festival, I'm not terribly upset about having missed the blooms, because I get to see them often enough and have a special kind of relationship with the trees.

The celebrated cherry blossoms are perhaps more delicate, apple-blossom-like--which is another reason I don't really miss them much. I grew up with a cherry blossom tree in my front yard that sported robust, virile flowers--apparently just like the one in the back yard of the house in whose basement I now reside! (And, actually, this photo isn't of that tree, it's one I happened by and snapped a photo to send to my mother.) I believe what I used to have in my front yard is a Kikuzakura cherry blossom, which has about 100 petals per flower (the 50-ish-petal Kwanzan just looks too sparse to be the cherry blossom of my childhood). These babies are what I think of when I think "cherry blossom," and of all the plants of my childhood, that tree was my favourite, and is probably one of the largest contributors to my enjoyment of gardening, with its broad leaves, showy display of seasonal beauty, and sturdy limbs to climb. This fluffy cherry blossom is like an uncle--your friend and mentor who roughhouses with you, but also offers excellent life advice.

I'd love to have one in whatever house I end up in next. I think I'll make plans for that.

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