Saturday, April 16, 2011

Other Gardens: UW campus cherry blossoms - Sakura Saku

Flowering cherry in Japanese: sakura
by aleks
(Click on the pics to see larger versions)

UW Yoshino Cherry grove
Technically not a garden, but a grove of 30 mature Yoshino cherry trees over at the quad area of the UW campus; they are a tourist attraction in themselves when they bloom for about 2 weeks every spring.  They are a bit late this cold, wintry  year, as everything else seems to be - I found pictures of them on the web from last year dated march 27th (look at the date above: April 16th).

Whenever they bloom, they are a total show-stopper:   transplanted from the Seattle Arboretum 45 years ago when a freeway project threatened them, they now live happily here, at UW campus, and  'snow' delicate pink petals with a smallest stir of wind - an absolute magic to see. Today I came upon two young women meeting under a  blooming tree - one was approaching the other with an open box full of cupcakes when the wind blew and petals snowed on them:  the students happily laughed and one of them exclaimed: 'Oh, now the cherry blossoms everywhere!'...


'Snow' of the cherry petals • UW 4/16/11
• The story of cherry trees at UW:
[...] Students who walked through the Quad during spring can tick an item off their to-do list: seeing one of the world’s wonders. The Yoshino cherry tree (Prunus x yedoensis) should indeed be counted among such beauties as the pyramids and the Great Wall of China.


Yoshino is originally native to Japan’s natural landscape. It is a natural hybrid, first described in 1870 as a small deciduous tree growing up to 12 meters tall. It produces small cherries that are an important food source for many birds and mammals. The life expectancy of a Yoshino cherry tree is 60 to 100 years. [...]
From 'Campus trees a living history', UW's paper article - more here....

'What a strange thing! / to be alive / beneath Cherry blossoms!'
Kobayashi Issa (can't find Japanese original - Keiko, help!)

• Video: Cherry blossoms in full bloom on UW Seattle campus:
It’s a cruel joke. Cherry blossoms are at their peak over spring break when students have fled the campus for vacations and a little off-campus reprieve between winter and spring quarters.
Go to this UW link to see an amazing video of cherries in bloom in 2010 - more here...

Yoshino cherry blossoms • UW 4/17/11
* * *
And if you missed the cherry blossom show at UW come to Seattle Japanese Garden: it  is located in a lowest part of Arboretum, with temps about 10 degrees lower than the rest of the city, so cherry blossoms in the orchard part come there later yet, about a week or two after the city trees. You will be stirred by their beauty.

1810

.夕桜鬼の涙のかかるべし
yûzakura oni no namida kakarubeshi

evening cherry blossoms--
the devil is moved
to tears

Kobayashi Issa (1763 - 1827), translated by David G. Lanoue
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• Links to Hanami stories/pics:
- Human Flower Project: Under the cherry blossoms - Masashi Yamaguchi offers an introduction to Japan’s lush cherry blossom customs.
- Sakura and the Japanese mind - article by Shigeru Awagi, born in 1926, in Miyazaki-ken, Japan.
– Japanese Culture–Cherry Blossom Season Hanami - article from SE Asia History
- Special Project:  How Seattle's Cherry Blossoms Made a Journey into Space - from Consulate-General  of Japan in Seattle
- History of the Cherry trees in US -  National Park Service page
- Visit Seattle Japanese Garden Flicr group: I'm sure there will be great hanami pics there as soon as bloom in SJG.

• Locations for great Hanami in Seattle: Lake Washington Boulevard, The Seattle Center, the Arboretum, the Japanese Garden, the University of Washington, Seward Park, Woodland Park, and the Seattle Buddhist Church Wysteria Plaza.  ADD YOURS!
________

十人十色 (jūnin toiro) Literally: ten men, ten colors 
Meaning: To each his/her own. / Different strokes for different folks.

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