N is for Newark’s Cherry Blossoms #AtoZChallenge

Cherry Blossoms, overcast skyWhat is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Newark, New Jersey? The airport, maybe? It probably isn’t the home of the nation’s largest collection of cherry blossoms, and yet that can be found in good old Newark.

Cherry Blossoms and Bridge at branch Brook Park Newark NJ

Branch Brook Park, listed on both the New Jersey (1980) and National (1981) Registers of Historic Places, is home to more than 4,000 cherry trees, according to the park’s website.

Cherry blossoms in suns

The park began in 1865, when the city, along with the newly created Essex County Park Commission, made plans to transform a former Civil War Army training ground into public use as a park. This became the nation’s first county park.

White Cherry Blossoms near water

Donations from wealthy families expanded the park in the following years. The cherry trees were a gift from the Mrs. Felix Fuld family in 1927.

Cherry Blossom welcome center sign at branch Brook Park

I was lucky to visit during peak blooming, and I spent several lovely hours viewing the cherry blossoms.

Pink Cherry Blossoms and tree trunk

C is for Cherry Blossoms Opening #AtoZChallenge

Pink cherry blossom on tree branch with blue sky
Plum blossom?

The flowering trees are beginning to open in my neighborhood. One of my favorite times of year.

This cherry tree is always one of the first to bloom. Except I’ve just been doing a little research, and it might not be a cherry tree after all. I think it’s actually a plum tree called, confusingly, a black cherry plum, or Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’. The photos on this tree nursery site seem to match up.

I read today that cherry trees always have green leaves, and the leaves on this tree are always a dark maroon. Maybe it’s not a cherry tree after all.

I have been trying to identify the neighborhood’s various flowering trees for a few years, but never with much luck or perseverance. It’s easy to call them all cherry blossoms, but I sometimes strive to be more accurate. There are two that I think are more likely crabapples, and now I think this might actually be a plum. It doesn’t really matter because they all bring me joy with their flowers. It’s just fun to have a few mysteries to solve each spring.

 

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley in morning sun

I found this small bouquet at a farm that I visited to pick asparagus the other day. Sounds dumb, but I didn’t know they had such a lovely scent. I had never seen them in person before. I also got some lilac blossoms in a small bouquet. They are one of my favorites.

I miss you! I haven’t been blogging much recently because I have been busy packing up. It’s time to move, and the hope is that it happens before school starts in September. We have a lot of work ahead of us. I may not be here as frequently, but I think of you often.

This song has been in my head since I got the bouquet. I know it’s a traditional song, but the Laurie Berkner version is what’s playing in my head.

White coral bells upon a silver stalk
Lillies of the valley deck my garden walk
Oh don’t you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will only happen when the fairies sing

 

Photo Challenge: Admiration

A carpet of pink petals on the green grass in afternoonI admire nature for bravely pairing this pink and this green. I wouldn’t have had the courage, but now that I see it, I’m completely sold. It’s perfect.

(These are petals from the crabapple trees from last year. This year they fell more gradually and the wind scattered them, so we didn’t get this gorgeous pink carpet.)

For the photo challenge Admiration.

Y is for Yarrow

Pink or purple yarrow

I don’t know if you’d call this purple yarrow or pink. It’s a pretty flower that looks great in bouquets or in a garden, such as these flowers that I saw at a farm.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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V is for Vegetation, Dried 2

Dried flowers, goldenrod, teasel

Same topic as last year for V.

Dried thistle

I love dried flowers and plants and I think it’s because they are similar to abandoned places–even though they are past their prime in the traditional sense, they still have their own kind of beauty.

Dried flowers, Queen Anne lace, teasel

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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