Victoria’s famous cherry trees made headlines last week but not for their blossoms. 

Councillor Geoff Young expressed concern that council was on a path to replace Victoria’s famous trees with species more common to the region.

After experiencing significant public outcry, council moved to clarify their position, and write to the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society thanking them for the gift of cherry trees offered in the 1930s.

As an interior designer, this issue deserves more reflection on the importance of our surroundings.

We design spaces to embrace the spirit and aspirations of our clients.   

Homes and neighbourhoods often represent community values and personalities. They can be an important part of work/life balance as well as physical and mental health.

Streetscapes, including a block of cherry tree blossoms, can be an extension of our homes.

As homes are redeveloped, blossoming trees may serve as an anchor enabling the neighbourhood to adapt to change.

Certainly most agree spectacular tree blossoms are nature’s artistic flair – an early reminder of changing seasons in a region that rarely experiences winter like the rest of the country.

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society provided a very timely reminder to council and the community. The trees are also a valued gift to the citizens of Victoria, having both cultural and historical significance.

Change is inevitable, and this is no more obvious than the need to improve land use and housing for a generation of millennial families.

However, those new families must still be able to enjoy the gift of cherry tree blossoms, an inter-generational bond that is uniquely Victorian. 

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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