Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Beauties - Washington's Cherry Blossoms at Peak!

The first Japanese cherry trees were presented to the City of Washington, DC as a gesture of friendship and goodwill by the city of Tokyo, Japan and to celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations at that time. The first two trees were planted in a ceremony on March 27th 1912 by, then First Lady, Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the first lady presented a bouquet of "American Beauty" roses to Viscountess Chinda.

Washington's renowned National Cherry Blossom Festival grew from this simple ceremony, witnessed by just a few persons. These two original trees still stand several hundred yards west of the John Paul Jones Memorial, located at the terminus of 17th Street, SW. Situated near the bases of the trees is a large bronze plaque which commemorates the occasion. By 1915, the United States government had responded with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan.

I took the photos below last Friday, a perfect bluebird day, when the 2010 cherry blossoms (and Japanese magnolias and flowering crabapples) were at peak ~ 98 years and 6 days later! Enjoy!


  1. Dear Cassandra, What a beautiful city made even more so by these wonderful trees seen, most likely, at their best in full blossom. There is indeed something very lovely about all the early flowering cherries. I was interested to learn that they were first established as a gift from Japan to the USA in 1912 and wonder what occasioned such a generous gesture.

    I do hope that you enjoyed your time in Europe and that Prague lived up to all expectations.

  2. Europe was fabulous, Edith - we had perfect weather, but I actually fell in love with Krakow - charming, older Medieval city (not destroyed during WWII), rich history, friendly people, fabulous food, and the BEST Easter Market in the Old Town Square - flowers, flowers, flowers! I will be blogging about it soon...Cassandra ♥

  3. Hi Cassandra,

    What a beautiful blog you have here.
    I love the many pictures you have posted.
    The Cherry blossoms in Washigton are gorgeous.
    Thank you for becoming one of my friendly followers, that was so sweet of you to do so!!
    I will visit you often now that I know who you are.

    Smiles and hugs,

    Susan of Art of Mine


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