Thursday, May 1, 2014

Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair

English Bay on a cloudy day with a Japanese cherry tree  - photo by Junie Quiroga
While there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Vancouver is indeed paradise, even its biggest supporters will acknowledge the occasional grey skies and rain in winter can sometimes bring you down.  But thanks to a tradition that started in the 1930's, when we started planting Japanese cherry trees to honour Japanese Canadians who fought in the First World War, we now have thousands of these trees throughout the city (17,000 or so from the last official count) that start to display their beautiful blossoms in late February/early March and continue into early May. There are also 13,000 or so ornamental plum trees that flower at approximately the same time and look very similar.

Cherry blossom

Plum blossom
As beautiful as these blossoms are they only last for a week or two so it's fortunate there are more than one species in the City because each one blossoms at a different time and this spreads the cherry blossom season out for more than two months.  There are more than 20 varieties of these ornamental cherry trees planted in Vancouver with the earlier blossoming Yoshino and the later blossoming Kanzan species being the most popular.  Between all the various flowering cherry and plum trees Vancouver takes on a positively pink hue in early spring.

English Bay in the rain with daffodils - photo by Junie Quiroga
In addition to the cherry and plum blossoms we also have the stunning feature gardens of English Bay that showcase ever changing varieties of seasonal flowers.  Nestled in between the palm trees, magnolias, and other trees, these patches of incredible colour defy any grey skies or rain to ruin the day or the view. Spring always comes early to Vancouver while the rest of the country continues to struggle with snow.

English Bay in the rain with tulips - photo by Junie Quiroga
Rain is something that "washes the flowers faces" and makes puddles to jump in. Grey skies never last for long and between all the cherry & plum blossoms and flowers everywhere, the mood in Vancouver should always be bright and cheerful.  If you find yourself in our city at this time of year make sure you take a moment to enjoy the view and maybe find some flowers to wear in your hair.

Junie with some blossoms in her hair