Bursting and blooming with sugary sweet, sororal symbolism in our nation’s capital!
We want to introduce you to a new monthly feature on our blog – Flower Crush – where we tell you about flowers we love and show you examples of how we’ve used them! What better way to kick off our Flower Crush feature than with a flower who, by all accounts, is a harbinger of new beginnings? It seems fitting, what with a fresh, new face to our studio and website, we would be crushing on a flower whose very appearance serves as an epitaph to winter. Goodbye to wind-chapped faces, stuffy, closed-up apartments, and exorbitant heating bills!
Most know of the long-standing association between cherry blossoms and the kick-off of spring in DC, but for a city so bursting with symbolism, a surprising few know the story behind it! The story goes that in 1912, Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as symbolic offering of friendship. First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, chose the northern bank of the Tidal Basin to plant the first two trees. These two trees still stand today near the statue of John Paul Jones 17th Street’s south end. Of course, the two women didn’t plant the rest of the trees! The remaining 3,018 were planted by workers around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park.
But the sweet symbolism isn’t the only reason we love them! Very few flower choices feature both soft edges AND the jutting structure of flowering branches. As floral designers, we adore the juxtaposition of soft, demure pastels with their sheer height and commanding presence. There’s just something that screams wedding about that, don’t you think?
Cherry blossom facts:
Season – Spring. Reliably available from the end of March through April. On rare occasions, we see them available in May depending on the weather.
Colors – Colors can vary. A crisp, clean, fluffy white or blush to a rich, vibrant raspberry pink.
When to Use – When you want to make a statement! A little goes a long way with these lofty, but delicate branches. Choose them for your place card or altar arrangements. Use them in tall centerpieces for the ultimate wow factor. Bonus points: Use cherry blossom to adorn your wedding arch, canopy or chuppah!
Other fun facts – Many people don’t realize that it can be a very involved process getting cherry blossom branches to bloom. Branches are cut when in bud, and can take as long as three weeks to force into flower. The blossoms are very delicate, and so if they were cut when in bloom, the flowers would shatter.
For more cherry blossom inspiration, check out our Pinterest board!