Cycling under Cherry Pink Flowering Bowers

Horseshoe Bay. West Vancouver, BC 2004. Photo by J. Chong
Horseshoe Bay. West Vancouver, BC 2004. Photo by J. Chong

When we first moved to Vancouver, I was struck by the ubiquity of cherry trees blooming in a lot more numbers than in Toronto. Vancouver has over 37,000 cherry trees of which some were given by the Japanese government 1930-1950’s from the cities of Kobe and Yokahoma. In commemoration of the Japanese-Canadians who served in World War II, 500 trees were planted. In Vancouver, approximately 11,000 cherry trees are planted on public land.

Many cherry trees do differentiate Vancouver from Toronto where in the latter city, one instead sees and smells

East 10th St. Vancouver, BC 2010. Photo by J. Becker
East 10th St. Vancouver, BC 2010. Photo by J. Becker

more lilac bushes and trees during spring. I am not even sure where common lilac bushes are in Vancouver. It has been a long time since I have seen the purple or pink plump lilac candle  bunches of starry florets.

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  The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website  lists key cherry tree locations throughout the city for viewing – a practice probably similar  in Japan where spring time cherry blossom appreciation is a cult, embedded in the cultural fabric for centuries. Tokyo Green Space blog has a few posts for April 2010, that highlight this special spring celebration. One great thing about this cherry blossom reverence, is such trees would not be cut down for a long time, thus preserving green space for any city.

Cherry blossom cookie. Terra Bread Bakery.
Cherry blossom cookie from Terra Bread Bakery. Made only during this time.

Even though warmer winter temperatures this year were not the best for the Olympics here, it did encourage early bursts of cherry blossoms here and there. Since late February, we are enjoying according to Nature’s staggered timing,  a longer city-wide sweep of  pink-white  cherry blossoms. You just need to follow the pink floral cascades along some roads.

Note:  Sorry for some photo duplication.  WordPress is working on fixing the slideshow software feature to exclude repeated photos on this same post.  WordPress bloggers are ranting abit for this improvement.


Interesting Reading:
Tokyo Green Space Blog. To see their cherry blossom blog posts and some photos, click on “cherry” in the blog’s right-hand side under “TAGS”.  Or browse through their Apr. 2010 posts.  Some posts refer to “sakura” , which is “cherry blossom” in Japanese.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. History of our Cherry Trees.    See section on Cherry Cultivars for different cherry tree varieties with photos.

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