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!