The Princess in Our Front Yard

Apr 16, 2014

We planted a tree last week. And a dream 10 years in the making came true for me.

Who knew such a little mite of a thing could fill me with such exhilaration and happiness?

I remember perfectly the first time I saw a flowering cherry tree. I was finishing up my second semester at BYU. Amid the stress of finals, the entire campus bloomed in a breathtaking display of color and fragrance. I honestly can't remember a spring before or since that has been quite as gorgeous to me (whether or not this had anything to do with the fact that I was also extremely twitterpated at the time, I really can't say).

I lived in the dorms at the time (grand ol' Deseret Towers, nicknamed Death Trap because of its unsound earthquake structure and consequently torn down a few years later). One evening I walked out of the Morris Center and stopped still in my tracks. There before me was a princess of unprecedented beauty. The blossoms were big and feathery. They looked like carnations.

I was enraptured, and I vowed right then and there that someday just such a tree would reign in my front yard.

Spring 2004 - With Beth, my dear friend (and roommate at the time)

The next spring, I married that boy I was so twitterpated with. After we graduated and moved to Salt Lake, I discovered that the art gallery across the street had a whole row of flowering cherry trees.

Spring 2011 - With 14-month-old Maxwell

Up until then, I still didn't know what kind of tree it was, but I noticed that a family from church had one in their front yard, and one Sunday I asked the mom what it was called. She told me "blossoming cherry," which I faithfully remembered, and it wasn't until very recently that I discovered this variety is actually called a kwanzan flowering cherry.

It would have been nice if the home we bought had already had a flowering cherry tree in its front yard (I'm pretty sure I would have considered it a sign that it was the right house for us). It didn't, but it had the next best thing: a front yard completely empty of trees, a perfect canvas for my dream.

Despite years of talking about this one specific tree, I think Mike was still surprised when we were tree shopping last week and I found a flowering cherry and insisted that we buy it right then and there.

Our biggest dilemma after that was just deciding where in the front yard it should go.

My awesome crew of tree planters

We finally settled on a spot close to the house. In a few years, I will be able to gaze out on its frothy pinkness while I do the dishes. I can't wait.

It probably sounds silly, but seeing that little tree just fills up my heart a little bit. It was such a teeny tiny dream, but it was something I thought about every spring. A year ago, I never thought that in just ten months time, we would own our own home, much less that I would be enjoying the baby blossoms of my baby tree. If such things can happen, what else is possible?


  1. A great choice and I get it. I love to see the beautiful blossoms. I love to see the birds singing. I love to hear the wind through the leaves. I love the hope that a tree represents. A hope for future years. You plant and nurture -- and it seldom talks back and seldom fights with siblings. Trees can be dreams fulfilled.

    1. Vicki - Even if I didn't know you personally, I can tell just by the way you write how much you love the outdoors. And your yard proves it!

  2. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww that's awesome. What beautiful memories it's going to make.

  3. This made my day. I think it's just wonderful and you'll enjoy it for years to come! I feel the same way about lilac bushes. We moved into our house (5 years ago) in the fall and it wasn't until the spring that I discovered there was already a huge, beautiful lilac bush on our property. It was such an unexpected blessing!

  4. I love it! I've been dreaming of the same tree! Hopefully it's not too many more years before I get one too!

    1. Really?! That's awesome. You should come see our little tree in person sometime!


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