Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cheery Cherries

A sunny spring day always has a certain effect on me; it stirs up my gardener's blood and draws me outside to where the growing things are. Some days, I'm compelled to get to work on my own little patches of earth, but other times, when I am less in the mood for dirt under my fingernails, I seek out other gardens to enjoy.

Yesterday was one of the latter sort of days. Rather than pull weeds in my own backyard, I was inspired to go explore the legendary springtime beauty of University of Washington's cherry trees. Nestled in between the old Gothic buildings and grassy open space at the heart of the Seattle campus, these 30 Japanese cherry trees transform the Quad every spring with their magical blossoms.

There's an interesting history to the trees.Originally planted in another area of the campus, the trees found themselves in the intended path of an interstate ramp and doomed for removal. But an unknown person suggested that they be moved to the center of campus, where they have now lived for over 40 years. Sadly, the trees have begun to show signs of age and decay, which only increases the sentimental attachment that most UW alumni feel for them.

But I'm not a University of Washington graduate; I'm fond of these trees for a different reason. Enjoy these pics, and meet me below them where I will explain.

As I said, I'm not a Huskie; I'm a Spartan. I graduated from Michigan State University, which boasts a
top notch horticultural program and campus gardens galore. We may not have had a quad full of rescued cherry trees, but the springtime explosion of blossoms on my old campus is extraordinary. I have so many fond memories of sunny evenings spent adventuring through the flowering trees and shrubs with my friends and my camera - an old Instamatic that would now be considered retro. Ha.

In fact, my original plan was to dig out some of those old MSU springtime pics and post them here, but alas, I can't find them at the moment. I'll keep looking, but in the meantime, we will all have to settle for a picture of my post-cherry blossoms lunch and a cute little cluster of tiny white daisies.

Chipotle on the Ave makes any trip to UW complete.
UW may have those cherry trees but Edmonds Community College has these precious daisies growing here and there in its green lawns. I'm not sure which I love more.

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For more stories about late winter and early spring, try these:

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