April 1, 2015
I have been living in North Carolina for more than a year now, and I can say without a doubt that my favorite season is spring. The temperatures are warm but not hot, and the flowers bloom in full force. Nowhere is more beautiful in the springtime than Duke Gardens. I have sung its praises on this blog before, but March and April are just spectacular months to stroll around the gardens.
My two favorite flowering tree varieties are the magnolias and the cherry trees. The magnolias remind me of my college days in Ithaca, when after a bitterly cold winter in upstate New York the magnolia blossoms indicated the end of classes and busy semesters. The magnolias at Duke Gardens are more varied, and come in white and pink as well as in different petal shapes, but they never fail to impart a sense of nostalgia.
The cherry trees. How can I truly describe the beauty of the cherry trees? They grow throughout the Gardens, including in the Terraces where they wave in the breeze with colorful tulips beneath them. Like the magnolias, they also stir a memory for me. When I was a resident of Washington, DC, I was mesmerized by the cherry blossoms bordering the Tidal Basin. I woke up at 6 a.m. every morning for a week, hopped on the metro, and spent as much time before work as I could basking in the flowers before the crowds descended later in the day.
Of course, as I spend more and more time in Duke Gardens, in the future other cherry and magnolia trees will probably remind me of my time here!