Cherry Blossom Time

The blossoms are peaking in D.C. this weekend, and the weather couldn't be any finer. Incidentally, this 1930s linen cherry blossoms postcard was the very first vintage postcard I ever bought. Even today, with 10s of 1,000s of additional cards in my collection, I still prize the deco-styling and vivid coloration of this superb Curteich design.


Most know that the famous cherry trees ringing the D.C. Tidal Basin were gifted to the city by Japan in the 1910s, as indicated by this 1920s postcard which depicts, "a bit of old Japan transplanted to Potomac Park - the Misses Sumi and Sadi Tamura, daughters of...former Third Secretary of the Japanese Embassy, out for an early morning stroll."


What fewer know (including myself until today) is that an original 1909 gift of trees was burned upon arrival after USDA inspection revealed that the trees were infected with a number of invasive pests, including nematodes! An additional three trees were cut down by an anonymous vigilante four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Thankfully, despite these early set-backs, the visionary gift has endured and bestows its ephemeral beauty to residents and visitors year after year. I hope the spring in whatever locale you might be reading this is as sweet.

Photo credit: A. Riely, 2015

Photo credit: A. Riely, 2015