March 22, 2011

Right now, Washington DC is putting on her Spring finery. All over town, cherry trees are bursting into bloom. If you’ve never been to DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival, you’re missing one of the most beautiful expressions of Spring. The official party starts this weekend, but at my house, it’s already in full swing.

The fabulous arborists from Bartlett Tree (a company I’ve been using and recommending without reservation for 15 years) are working on all my large trees.

The river birch, a beautiful 40′ specimen after twelve years, was bent to the ground during one of the wet snows, and will now need cabling to be safe. So a bucket truck pulled up to the front of the house and rigging commenced.

The hickory tree had a major limb removed to add light to the boxwood garden, and also to keep Fall’s ripe hickory nuts from hitting the roof with a noise like machine gun fire. The crabapple and dogwoods were tidied here and there.

The cherry tree, about to open up and overwhelm with white blossoms, needed a good clean up. And I had plans for the branches on the ground.

I snipped a few branches heavy with swollen pink buds, brought them in the house to fill this enormous vase.

If you have a flowering fruit tree, forsythia, quince – any early Spring blooming tree – you can do the same thing. One little tip. Before sinking those branches in the water, smash the ends with a hammer to reveal the woody green under the bark. Now the branch can drink, and you’ll have blossoms to brighten your day.

Even if you don’t have a flowering fruit tree, watch as you’re walking around your town. There will be arborists everywhere in the next few weeks trimming up trees and they’re always happy to let you have some branches. (That’s what I did when I was an apartment dweller.)

daphne aureomarginata - an intoxicating scent that perfumes the entire back yard

Fear not, those of you still seeing snow on the ground. I can assure you, Spring is right around the corner.

8 Responses to “my own cherry blossom festival”

  1. Sally

    I am going to have to force some forsythia indoors today. Almost no sign of spring here in chilly Boston and a very cool week to boot. I know it’s coming. Your photos give me hope!

  2. Val

    Thanks so much for identifying the Daphne for me. There is one in my neighborhood and it is absolutely intoxicating! Must have one.
    I thought for sure spring was here, and now we get gloom for another week, but maybe that will prolong the cherry blossom blooms.



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