Come for a walk in Christopher Columbus Park and enjoy a fleetingly fragrant experience of honey, vanilla and citrus as the Park’s five Little Leaf Linden trees come into bloom.
These lovely trees with heart-shaped leaves are distinctive with a rich symbolic history stretching back over a thousand years. Villagers in the German and Norse countries gathered and even danced under the Linden and considered the ‘Tree of Love’ a source of wisdom, love, fidelity, fertility and truth. In German folklore, people could not tell a lie while standing under a Linden tree. Folklore has echoes into modern times.
In the historic heart of Berlin an extensive boulevard and pedestrian way, Unter Den Linden, is lined by 1,000 Linden trees. The original trees were planted in the 17th century. Likewise, from medieval times poets and musicians collaborated to celebrate the Linden. The flowers were considered therapeutic and even today Linden flower products including tea, honey, and salves are available. Sometimes a tree is not just another tree.
Given the need to socially distance, the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) is not planning a public gathering near the trees, but encourages everyone to come on their own to stand under the trees, inhale the flowers’ scent and take a restorative moment. Depending on the amount of rain, the aroma can last from one to three weeks. If you miss the peak bloom time, you can still stand by the trees and reflect on the Linden’s rich history.
Make it a treasure hunt. Use these photos to locate the five trees. Hint: Green bows will lead you there!
The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park cares for the Lindens and all the trees in the park. Joanne Hayes-Rines, FOCCP President says, “The trees in Columbus Park provide wonderful shade on hot summer days and we care for them every year. This year, for example, we’ll have a landscaping company prune and fertilize more than 20 trees, including the large oaks along the trellis. Also, the birch trees near the shed will get a soil injection to treat a blight that is causing the trees to lose their leaves. FOCCP spends an average of $7,000 a year on planting new trees and caring for existing ones.”
The care of the trees and all of the other many FOCCP projects are only possible because of member support. Please consider becoming a member (foccp.org/membership) or a sponsor (foccp.org/corporate-sponsorship). Together We Are Part of Something Bigger! Thank you and enjoy your Park!
Photo credits to Meredith Piscitelli, Terese O’Connell, and arbordayblog.com