Flowering cherry trees make a spectacular springtime garden display

After a long, dreary winter, we’re all ready for spring. Even if you’re not a gardener, you can still appreciate the sight of a little patch of daffodils or tulips. Their bright, cheerful colors herald the coming of spring and warmer days. Perhaps that’s why my grandmother often said, “You’re as welcome as the flowers in May!”, a wonderfully touching sentiment.

In most parts of the country, winter melds into spring, with the bright spring flowers offering a brilliant, but brief display of glorious color. Maybe this is why we treasure them all the more, because the display is fleeting. Nonetheless, we enjoy each bright flower, never missing a day to take a good look at these delightful spots of color.

So how can we prolong the joys of spring in the garden? We don’t often think of the lovely flowering cherry tree when we’re contemplating the spring garden. In country settings, you’ll often encounter the flowering cherry tree along rural roads where they seem to thrive, virtually unattended. If left unpruned and unshaped, the flowering cherry tree may grow in many shapes, from a natural vase shape to a tree gone wild. Only in spring does this tree stand out in all its glory.

While most deciduous trees lie dormant, with their branch formations being their main asset, the flowering cherry tree is first spotted sprouting flower buds which stand out in sharp relief. In a matter of weeks, seemingly overnight, the buds give way to lovely pink flowers burst forth in a magnificent display that dominates your view. Although the flowers last but a few weeks, the joy of the display makes this tree well worth planting in your home garden.

In summer, they seem to hide in the landscape among the many other trees, of unassuming stature or distinction. However, the flowering cherry tree has many practical qualities which make it an asset to any garden. A relatively small tree, it can be planted in a patio situation in fairly close proximity to your home without fear of damaging your foundation with its roots. It can be grown in most gardening zones, as it tolerates a bit of winter chill.

Planted in a location which affords a view from inside your home gives you cheer in springtime and an element of shade during the summer. The purple leaves lend variety of color in the summer garden as well. In fall, the leaves turn color gradually and subtly. A well-pruned flowering cherry tree provides a charming silhouette in winter and allows light to come in during the cold months.

Although the flowering cherry does not produce fruit, it’s certainly worthy of a spot in your landscape.

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