Monday, April 8, 2013

Cherry Trees-Agents of Friendship

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hideo Ogino, who was the President of Maxell Corporation, planted Yoshino cherry trees as a gift to the people of Rockdale County . A Cherry Blossom Festival was created to "nurture the friendship and exchange of Japanese culture".  The first festival, in 1982, had Japanese cooking classes, origami exhibits, silk flower arranging and karate demonstrations. Since that time, many people here have admired these trees and have planted many cherry trees of their own.  These photos are of the three Yoshino cherry trees in our own front yard that we purchased many years ago.  You might recognize the blossoms from post-cards from Washington, D.C.

In 1949, a man by the name of William Flicking noticed a beautiful tree with lovely blossoms in his backyard of Macon, Georgia, but was unable to identify it and no one living there could identify it either. On a business trip to Washington, D.C., he recognized that his tree was a Yoshino cherry tree, the same ones lining the Potomac River. Upon his return home, he propagated the tree and began giving the trees to those in his community.  One of those neighbors, Carolyn Crayton, talked him into having 500 cherry trees planted in her neighborhood in 1973. With all these beautiful trees, the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in Macon in 1982 and the theme of the festival was "Love, Beauty, and International Friendship".  It is believed that there are now 300,000 cherry trees in Macon and the Cherry Blossom Festival there is very well attended!

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. is very well known. The gift, of 3200 cherry trees from Japan, were received in March of 1910.  There were actually 12 different varieties but the majority was the Yoshino cherry tree.  Another gift of 3,800 trees were given in 1965 by Japan and presented to one of my heroes, Lady Bird Johnson, who did so much to call attention to gardens and flowers.  In 2011, some of the original trees from Japan, were propagated and sent back to Japan making this circle of friendship complete.  I love the thought of trees being called " agents of friendship".  Isn't it wonderful to see this kind of beauty and also think of it as being used to promote peace and goodwill around the world?
It is not just in Georgia that you will see cherry blossoms against a blue sky but even in England!Look at Julie's blog at Home Jules.  Also, she has some incredible work that she shows by a textile artist by the name of Elizabeth Wall.  It inspired her to make a 4 birds quilt which I love!  Beauty, I will always exclaim over it.  You don't want to know how much I marveled over our cherry trees this past week.  Today, the pale pink petals are showering down like snow...like magic!
 

 

41 comments:

  1. Hi Kay! How interesting. I love cherry trees and our area produces the biggest share of sweet cherries in the US. Cherry blossom time is just a heady experience just north of us- xo Diana

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    1. Oh yes, I know your area is famous for cherries! Our cherry trees are beautiful, but we have no fruit from them, they are strictly ornamental, just there for their beauty, kind of like me! ;-)
      (Oh, but the birds like to eat something off of them, you can tell from my photo of the cardinal from an earlier post.)

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  2. Interesting and beautiful in so many different ways: the blossom and the thoughts behind it. One of my first colour transparencies many many years ago was of cherry blossom against a blue sky taken, I think, in one of the public parks in Liverpool.

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    1. Thanks, GB! I love to look up and see blossoms outlined against a bright blue sky, one of the best sights anywhere in the world, I should imagine. Nice to see after a long winter.
      Winter has held on for so long in parts of this country too. I just read that Colorado has 20 inches of new snow!

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  3. I love the idea behind the cherry tree festival(s) and how the cherry trees came to be there in the first place. And those beauties on your pictures are in your own front yard - that's fantastic! It will still be weeks before the cherry tree in front of my kitchen window can even think of blossoms, but when it does, it lights up my entire kitchen.

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    1. Thanks, Meike! I am like you, when I am interested in something, I want to read and learn all about it, but then, I have so much information it is hard to condense it into a short post!
      We love our cherry trees! I am looking forward to YOUR pictures of cherry trees, I think I remember that you get to eat the cherries, am I right?

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    2. Yes, that tree stretches some of its branches right into my kitchen window when I open it :-)
      I'll dedicate this year's cherry blossom pictures to you, Kay, and to our friendship, started through blogging and spanning two continents!

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  4. Just talked to my son who was in D.C. this weekend. He says the cherry blossoms were not quite at their peak. Maybe next week. I hope I get to see them someday.
    One of the most beautiful places we saw cherry blossoms was in Vancouver, Canada. They even had green ones. Amazing!

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    1. Oh, I was hoping that you would see this post, Kay!
      I remember that you were able to see the cherry blossoms when you visited Japan because the blossoms were late that year, so sometimes late blossoms work out for the best, right? :-)
      I want to visit Vancouver!!

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  5. Beautiful pics, Kay. It's such a lovely tree and the little blossoms are so pretty. They make me think of Summer and blue skies. (I can dream!)

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    1. Thanks! The pale pink is so light, it looks almost white, just an exquisite color but sometimes hard to get a good photo. Richard does a good job, I think!
      Summer will be here for you and blue skies galore! xx

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  6. They are just beautiful. Nothing like that blooming here yet, but we now at least have buds. Hope your Tuesday is a terrific one!

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    1. Those buds will be blooms soon!
      Hope you have a great week! :-)

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  7. Not too many cherry trees down here, but the azaleas bloomed in their usual time, and the dogwoods and magnolias will soon follow.

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    1. Azaleas, dogwoods and magnolias-you would think you were in the Deep South or something! :-)

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  8. Excellent pictures and very Spring like! Wonderful trees to have.

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    1. Thanks! We have so many trees that our Spring can be spectacular! (If only they didn't all bloom at once, our pollen count is close to 3000!)

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    2. I often wonder who sits there and counts the pollen particles so accurately.

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    3. http://atlantaallergy.com/PollenCount.aspx
      There, I have a link for you, the nice folks at the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic have the numbers. (HAHA, I hope they get paid a lot for counting!!) If you are in the high risk category (like me) you don't have to know the numbers, your lungs will tell you!
      At the moment, everything is covered in yellow pollen from the pines, but it is the pollen that you DON'T see that causes all the problems but hardly anyone knows that!

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    4. No, Kay, I'm not in the high risk category although some of the NZ pollens do affect my eyes. I just sometimes see the zany side of things - even serious things.

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    5. I am the same way! It tickles me to think of folks counting tiny particles of pollen!
      This conversation reminds me of "Horton Hears A Who" which I hope you know!

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    6. I hadn't heard of it Kay. But I have now! Hmmm. May indulge myself if I ever have to look after a littly.

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  9. One of my favourite haiku is: "Under cherry blossoms, everyone is happy." Enjoy them while they last!

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    1. Oh, I love that! And you know we will enjoy them!

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  10. What a lovely story. Talk of serendipity and random acts of kindness. What a gift is given when someone puts beauty into the world for everyone to share. It becomes that other Japanese idea which I like so much, the concept of "the borrowed landscape".

    The photos are wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi for your wonderful comment! Beauty for everyone to share, if only more people would have the same idea! Our native Americans had the same idea, thinking of the generations to come.
      My dear husband takes fantastic photos!!

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  11. Thank you for the mention Kay. Though the words sublime and ridiculous come to mind when I compare your spectacular display and the one solitary tree here! I love how it looks like snow too as the petals fall. x

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    1. Oh, Julie, you have the most fantastic photos on your blog!
      I LOVE your cherry tree photo with the bright blue sky behind it-it reminds me of a Japanese painting. And I have lived in England during a long cold winter, so I KNOW how exciting it is not to wear a coat for the first time!!

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  12. I remember the cherry trees in Macon. We were on a visit to Sandy and as she lives in Warner Robins, it was only a very short distance away. They were very beautiful and so many of them too.

    I have a Japanese Miniature Cherry tree in my garden but it does struggle sometimes - the wind can be strong up here!

    Such beauty from one random act of kindness - definitely food for thought.

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    1. Oh good, I was hoping that you would leave a comment and say that you had seen the cherry trees in Macon!
      Isn't it wonderful that something so beautiful could start off by just someone noticing just ONE tree! I LOVE a story like this one!
      I love that trees and plants will sometimes do very well in areas where they are not supposed to thrive...life tries very hard!
      Thanks so much for your comment! Hope you are doing well.

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  13. So very beautiful! It is a little time til we can see so much spring around my place.
    Tnx for great pictures and post!

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    1. Spring WILL come again for you, I am sure of it!
      So happy you liked this post with the photos, you are such a grand photographer yourself!

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  14. One of my fondest memories is of touring Japan during cherry blossom season.

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    1. Oh, what a beautiful memory and one that you can treasure forever!!
      I doubt I will ever visit Japan but I have enjoyed the very same cherry trees right in my own yard! :-)

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  15. So beautiful, one of my favorite things! Our Cherry tree is about to blossom...
    Have a good week Kay.
    Ivan

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    1. Oh Ivan, you have your cherry tree to look forward to! What a wonderful sight!
      Hope you have a wonderful week ahead! :-)

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  16. Hi Kay! I lived in an around D.C. for a number of years so I was lucky to see the cherry trees blossom each year. We almost took our girls this year but changed our minds last minute. I think next year will be the time to go! It's awesome that Macon has a similar festival!!!

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    1. I have never been to Washington, D.C. but we have a friend who lives there and we have postcards of the cherry blossoms!
      I would LOVE to see D.C. with the blossoms!

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  17. Good for looking, good for eating!

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    1. I know you must have cherry trees with real cherries on them, but our cherry trees are just ornamental but very worth having around nonetheless! :-)
      Thanks so much for commenting!

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