Town mouse – Jessica Fellowes

I know that Paris in spring is supposed to be all the rage, but this April, parts of London are looking glorious. Many of the trees are still yet to leaf, but the cherry blossom has been bursting out all over, as have the exotic looking magnolias. I wrote to a friend in Washington DC, exhorting the pleasures of the blooms in the park, but she was able to go one better. Apparently, in 1912, the city of Tokyo presented DC with 3,000 cherry trees, as a way of enhancing the friendship between the two cities. In 1915, the Americans responded in kind with a gift of flowering dogwood trees. Then, in 1965, Tokyo gave 3,800 more cherry blossom trees. The whole thing finally came full circle when Japanese horticulturalists came over to get cuttings from the trees to replace those in Yoshino, which had been destroyed in a flood. Every year, DC holds a two week cherry blossom festival, and, my friend tells me, the streets are ‘buried’ in the blossom. This Saturday, there will be a parade, with performers, balloons and dancers. All to celebrate cherry blossom and a friendship. Perhaps we should send some daffodils to Paris.