Saturday, March 24, 2012

The weeping cherry

In my garden there is a weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella pendula), which, only for the second time in my stewardship, erupted into flower overnight. The delicacy of the long, swaying fronds of blossom, the paleness of the pinkalmost white reallynot to mention the suddenness of the phenomenon are all breathtaking, and, despite my best efforts to crane and position myself at different angles, are almost impossible to photograph, as these miserable efforts amply demonstrate. Certainly the sumptuousness of the whole effect is beyond capture; it requires instead an Erté. The surrounding trees and the hillside opposite are still almost bare, and, but for a scattering of daffodils and crocuses along the marge, my lissome cherry now assumes the role of solitary but flamboyant harbinger of spring. It is as if some strikingly tall, kimono-wearing lyric actress has wandered up the drive, taken up a suitably prominent position, and is now magnificently soliloquizing. Evidently my owl is dumbstruck, but maybe he has found a mate. Judging from what I recall of last spring, her performance will not last for more than a few days. My weeping cherry’s moment is now, and despite rapturous applause there is never an encore. Just a carpet of fading petals, either dissolved into mush by April showers or simply blown away.

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