A Cherry Blossom Tale


I excitedly took the subway from Manhattan south into Brooklyn, to visit the Botanical Gardens for my first time ever, pleased to be there during "Hanami" (Japanese Flower Viewing time). It was a very hot, sunny day! When I arrived around noontime I was pleasantly surprised to learn that each Tuesday there is no admission, people can come for free!

The cherry trees I saw initially were in first bloom, not peak, and so I continued into the gardens until I saw a likely spot to stop and paint en plein air. I sat on the hard paved path for two hours, painting underneath the blooming Magnolia trees. Many people - multi-generations of families pushing strollers and groups of friends - passed me during this time and most stopped to admire my slowly growing painting.

Upon leaving the gardens, I spotted a cherry tree in full bloom - it was simply gorgeous! As we don't have many such trees in northern Vermont, this is probably the first time I remember seeing a cherry tree blossom up close...I was quite sad that I had to leave without having time to paint it. Because the bloom-time is short, going back the next Tuesday wouldn't work, the blooms would be gone in the rain...however, my Father knew the desires in my heart.

Two days later I walked to the Post Office to mail a birthday gift to my sister. I needed to procure some cardboard to make a mailing tube and went behind the local grocery store to try to find a box I could use for this purpose. Just around the back corner of the grocery store I found a little cherry tree, sandwiched in-between the building and a large container truck. This tree was on a scrap of ground surrounded by pavement - an unlikely spot for such a lovely tree! It was blooming with all of it's might! I chose two small sprigs from the rear side of the tree and took them home to paint that afternoon.

I painted both cherry sprigs, pleased to have the time to do so. Flowering trees often appear and disappear so quickly! The magnolia trees were only in peak for a few short days, while the dogwoods lovely white and pink flowers that appeared to float in the breeze lasted for around two weeks.

I still leave the house and can picture the yard surrounded by the four big white dogwood trees! They were so beautiful! I am really enjoying this unusual Spring, in a different horticultural zone from the Vermont Spring I'm used to seeing!

Warmly, your painting friend, Elise

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