In the neighborhood I grew up in, cherry blossoms meant spring. There was a woman who had been living there forever – Mrs. Clark was her name – and she loved flowering cherry trees. She loved every species, but there was some kind of Japanese flowering cherry tree that she preferred above all others. She would constantly extol its virtues around the neighborhood to anyone who would listen.
Because she had lived so long, she had managed to convince the city to put up flowering cherry trees everywhere. When she had first put up a few in her yard, they had actually been seen as a menace. Clouds and clouds floating cherry blossoms are beautiful, but one or two trees worth can look like a mess on the lawn. Nonetheless, through her charm, her persistence, and the sweet smells and tastes of the cherries, she was able to convince everyone else to give them a try.
I have to say that I am glad that she did. On Main Street, rather than having evergreens or birch trees like many cities do, we have flowering cherries that line both sides of the boulevard. In the winter, they are strung with red and white lights mimicking the cherries and blossoms that are so absent from them. They look strange and eerie, barren and forlorn.
In the spring, however, when those flowering cherry trees come into bloom, it is like nothing else in the world. If you have never watched cherry trees flowering, you really should watch it someday. The whole thing takes place within a few days. All of a sudden, there are buds on the trees. Then, a few days later, they open up. The sit there, vibrant and still, for weeks and then, all of a sudden, they began to drift off the trees. On one particular day, the whole air is filled with gently flowing cherry blossoms, all lazily soaring down the avenues and streets of our small town.
When the whole city decides to buy flowering cherry trees, sometimes it makes sense to choose them for their blossoms. If you are only buying a single tree for yourself, however, you should take into account the taste of the cherries. Some species are known for their sweet, luscious flavors, while others are more tart. You also have to take into account nearby trees. Cherries need to cross pollinate or you will get no fruit at all.