Petal Power

Yoshino cherry blossom trees (Sakura) on Jackson Street between Graham and Metropolitan Avenues on April 4. Sakura are different from cherry trees because they don’t bear fruit, only blossoms. Photo credit: Lori Ann Doyon

The first day of spring if connected to the vernal equinox can arrive on March 19, 20, or 21. It’s usually a 2–3 week wait for the seeing-is-believing crowd to be assured spring is here.

If you are partial to cherry blossoms the Yoshino (white blossom) are the first of the Sakura (cherry blossom trees) to bloom, and a stroll down Jackson Street between Graham and Metropolitan Avenues was breathtaking on April 4. It was a sea of white corollas centered with faint green stars (calyces) punctuated with red specks (the pollen carrying anthers), in a mix with yet-to-open pink buds. It was a sight for sore eyes, and a plight for sore eyes — sympathies go to those with allergies.

The blossoms of magnolias, crocuses, daffodils, and tulips, preceded and accompanied the Yoshino. Beyond these, spring was pacing itself until temperatures of late June arrived in mid April. The temperature reached a record-breaking 90F degrees on April 13 and was book-ended by days in the 80s . Blooms and leaves went into overdrive.

The bulbs in bloom on April 11 from Humboldt Street to Bushwick Avenue at Memorial Gore. White and yellow daffodils/narcissus, dandelions, and some red and orange tulips at the Bushwick Avenue edge. Photo credit: Lori Ann Doyon

By April 17, most trees in the neighborhood were in full spring-green leaf and the Kwanzan cherry blossom trees were debuting their pink popcorn puffs. Those pink petals go fast, as the breezes on April 18 and 19 were filling sidewalk crevices and tree beds with these papery pink petals. The Sakura (cherry blossoms) bring the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic (to appreciate beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete) to the visceral.

The Kwanzan cherry blossom tree in full bloom at the Bushwick Avenue edge of Memorial Gore on April 17. In the previous photo (April 11) you can see this tree in the background only just beginning to bud. Photo credit: Lori Ann Doyon

After the cherry blossoms fall there will be more blooms on the way. Lilacs will be next. The scent of linden will fill the air in late May or early June.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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