Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cherry Blossom Viewing Guide

Japanese horticulturists tell us that there are more than 300 varieties of Sakura - Cherry Blossoms. A small number of those have made their way, in significant quantities, into North America. The viewing guide above is intended to familiarize the reader with the names of a few, just enough to get you started, of the more popular varieties that you may find in North American collections.

Major collections in the mid-Atlantic region worth visiting :

Belleville, NJ - Cherry Blossom Capital of America
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Fairmont Park, Philadelphia
Washington D.C., tidal basin

Caroline Bamberger Fuld

Caroline Bamberger was born in Baltimore during the thunder and smoke of the Civil War in the age of gas lights and horse-drawn carriages. "Carrie", as she was called, moved to Newark in 1895 to join her brother, Louis Bamberger, in the department store bearing the family name. In 1928, at the time of the passing of her second husband, Felix Fuld, Caroline Bamberger Fuld donated a large collection of Japanese flowering cherry trees, intending that they would be planted along the banks of the Second River. They seemed an appropriate memorial, symbolizing as they do both the beauty and brevity of life. It is for this donation that she is most remembered in our village.

A Mill Stream Transformed

By the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the picturesque Second River was wearing several layers of grime and showed all the signs of abuse that heavy industry can bestow on a natural resource. Time and the Great Depression had closed the plants along the old mill stream. It seemed like a really good idea to return it to nature. It became a WPA project in the 1930s to convert the Second River into a grand park and Cherry Blossom wonderland. Watch as the work progresses -

Exotic Cherry Blossom Ties

A portion of our collection of exotic Cherry Blossom theme ties.

Cherry Blossom Cluster Custom Ties

Cherry Blossoms Close Up Neck Wear by CherryBlossomVillage

See the entire collection.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Caught in the Snow !

It was a beautiful early spring day in April of 2000. The blossoms were at a fine peak of perfection. But, then a somber darkness moved in. The sky turned a sullen lead-gray. A Winter chill filled the air. It began to snow. Suddenly one was surrounded by swirling snow flakes and pink petals, a Cherry Blossom blizzard. Winter and Spring were at war with each other.


It's Summertime and the livin' is easy. The park is shady. There's a gentle breeze. The Cherry Blossom trees are relaxing in the sun, gathering energy for their next display. It's the time of year when the handsome design of the park is most evident and the old mill stream takes center stage.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cherry Blossoms and Autumn Leaves

Those tens of thousands of visitors who come to town each Spring to be richly rewarded by the generously profuse Cherry Blossom display are missing out on a real treat when they do not return in late October and early November to see the explosive Autumn display of vibrant colors afforded by these trees. Fall foliage is pleasant to see anywhere, however, Cherry Blossom trees offer a unique opportunity to see a stunning array of rich, contrasting shades of nature's very best artwork. There are many different species of trees in the park, each one with its own way of celebrating the harvest season. There are deep reds and flaming crimsons blended with yellow, plum, bright orange, burnt orange, amber and elegant shades of copper made even more outstanding by a background of evergreens. Sometimes you see several colors on the same tree.

If you have not spent a quiet Fall afternoon among the Cherry Blossom trees in the village, you are missing one of the highlights of Autumn and old Belleville.

But look here, there is something new added, a species of Cherry Blossom tree that displays it's flowers in Autumn, (Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’). When the County Parks Department carried out it's plan for a massive planting of Cherry Blossom trees to boost the numbers in the park, they included a nice quantity of these Autumn blooming type. Now, an unexpected color, pink, will join the splendid array of colors.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Where We Are

Coming from out of town to see our Cherry Blossoms ? Here are some easy ways to get here. Belleville is located in eastern Essex County in the northeast quarter of New Jersey. The best approaches are either the Garden State Parkway or State Highway Route 21. Garden State Parkway southbound, exit 149 to Belleville Avenue, turn east, proceed to Washington Avenue, turn south, proceed to Mill Street, turn West to enter the viewing area. Garden State Parkway northbound, exit 150 to Joralemon Street, turn east, proceed to Washington Avenue, turn south, proceed to Mill Street, turn West to enter the viewing area. State Highway Route 21 southbound, Belleville exit, turn South unto Main Street at traffic light, proceed to Mill Street, turn West to Washington Avenue. Proceed straight into viewing area. State Highway Route 21 northbound, Belleville exit, loop around left just before traffic light onto Main Street south. Proceed to Mill Street, turn West to Washington Avenue. Proceed straight into viewing area.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cherry Blossoms Around The World

Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet,
Save when eye and heart and mind are with sakura full replete.

(with apologies to Mr. Kipling.)

Some Photos From Brooklyn Botanical Gardens -


Some Photos From Fairmont Park Philadelphia -