Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

You may or may not know that right now happens to be one of my favorite times of year. The sun is finally peaking its head back out from where it hid all winter long, the birds are twittering and beginning to burst forth in song, and the flowers are in bloom!

My favorite flower, which deigns us with its presence for such a precious short time, is the Sakura, more commonly known in the US as the Cherry Blossom.

My own love affair with this flower dates back to my high school years when there was a Cherry Tree in our schoolyard (which, sad to say, has been since chopped down and replaced with concrete). On May 1st of 1995 or 1996, a sweet boy crowned me the Queen of May and presented to me a bouquet of Cherry Blossoms. I have since loved that flower! The blossoms are exquisite, and as they mature, their petals paper the earth in a type of confetti.

The Japanese practice "hanami," which is the culture of enjoying the flowers, namely the Cherry Blossom. Each year in Japan the weather bureau announces the blossom forecast, and the people closely watch for the blooming of the Sakura. When the time is right, thousands of people gather under the Cherry Trees in parks and pass the day and night away in celebration.

I lived opposite the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York City for several years and always celebrated Hanami as well as the Sakura Matsuri, which is their annual rite of Spring. I would spend my Saturdays strolling amongst the flowers. After the Cherry Blossoms started to wilt at the beginning of May, the heavenly-scented lilacs would come into bloom followed by the roses in June.

If you're fortunate to live near public parks or gardens, don't miss this opportunity to view some of nature's finest offerings. Celebrate Hanami!

Here are some pictures from the Flickr set called
Hanami: Cherry Blossom Viewing at Brooklyn Botanic Garden





-Just- said...

those pictures are gorgeous..

La Couturier said...

I loveeee cherry blossoms =] There's a park near me that has cherry blossom festivals every year - it's the most beautiful thing in the world!

La C.

-Just- said...

ha so i just read the comment you put on my blog. that's really funny that you know her, i found that picture on a fashion site of some sort. hope you don't mind that i thought you friend was hot :)