Our Motto:

Dulcius ex Asperis (sweeter after struggle)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Time – Could Spring 

Really Be Here?

I originally did this blog post back in 2012 but I just can’t resist posting it again. I have been very remiss in my blog writing but anyone who has ever operated a B&B will know how difficult it is to find time in our busy schedule, particularly during the busy summer season. Sometime around April each year we fling ourselves into the fun whirl of guests, cooking, cleaning, gardening, bookings, chatting with wonderful people, etc. and the summer flies by. Then we take a break with a vacation to somewhere fun on our bucket list (this year we returned to Namibia/Botswana). By the time we get home from our vacation Christmas is upon us and we once again get caught up in a whirl of fun activities. So, here it is February and I’m finally finding a few moments to sit down in front of my computer. We were out for our early morning run today and felt so blessed to see the lovely blur of pink blossoms just peeping out around the stark branches of the cherry trees in the park. I’m not sure what the record is for the earliest that the cherry blossoms appear in Vancouver, but February 9th is seems to be quite early. My 2012 post was in March and the blossoms were in their full glory at that time. Our apologies go out to our friends in Ontario and other parts of Eastern Canada where winter still has such a firm grip, but for us we are happy to say that Spring is here! As well as the cherry blossoms I see leaves on my rose and flowering currant bushes, snowdrops in bloom and tulips/garlic several inches high. The following is a repost of the little bit of research I did on cherry trees back in 2012 (the blossoms today are not yet so full as they are in the 2012 photos included in this post. If you want to experience them fully, come and see us in a couple of weeks!).
Vancouver is blessed with several varieties of cherry trees that put on a continuing display of colour for as much as six or eight weeks every Spring, usually starting as early as February but much later this year.  We understand that the earliest variety, such as we just saw at the park on Victoria Drive, is the Whitcomb Flowering Higan Cherry – Prunus subhirtella “Whitcombii”.  Perhaps not the most spectacular variety but such a welcome sight as our winter fades into spring.  The photo to the right, just a quick snap with my phone camera this morning, is that of the first buds just peeking out.
My absolute favorite variety is the Yoshino – “Akebono” and Somei-yoshino – Prunus x yedoensis.  These gorgeous huge trees, such as you will see in a couple of weeks near Kits Beach or, closer to the Bee & Thistle Guest House, along the 3100 block of Gravely Street, bear huge clumps of pale pink to white blossoms that are nothing short of stunning.  If you are a photo enthusiast or just a fan of amazing natural beauty, don’t miss these beautiful trees.
But, of course, the dearest to our heart is the gorgeous display that appears in front of the Bee & Thistle, our very own Parker Street, as the final triumphant burst of bloom when the late blooming Kanzan – Prumus serrulata “Kwanzan” finally make their appearance.  The photo to the left is Parker street between our guest house and Commercial Drive. Anyone who has been to the Symphony of Fire fireworks display in Vancouver will be familiar with the huge burst of fireworks that constitutes the grande finale, and so the Kanzan is to the Cherry Blossom spectacle!  Large unbelievably deep pink double flowers hang in pendulous clusters then, as the flowers start to fade, rain down on the street and produce a carpet of pink blossom petals!

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