Cherry Trees in Bloom
Cherry blossom trees line the streets of New York as an unmistakable sign that spring is here. Along the bike path of Riverside Drive, gardeners have strung A.E. Housman’s poem “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now” around the trunks of the trees. New Yorker’s and tourists alike can’t help but admire as they walk the streets under overflowing branches of white and pink.
It isn’t just New York that loves so dearly these trees; the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Washington D.C. where two trees were first planted in the U.S. in 1912 by the First Lady of Japan, and the ambassador of Japan’s wife. The beautiful trees were a gift to celebrate the existing friendship and future relationship between the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. responded with a gift of flowering dogwoods, and the exchange between the two nations has continued with trees over the years.
This year and next we will celebrate the festival with the pomp and circumstance that such beauty demands, but in 2012 the festival will reach new heights as we celebrate a century of blooming brilliance. Some gifts just keep on giving.
By Amy Leigh Cutler