I’m feeling a little bad for you folks out of the West End. West End plums have finished, and it’s easy to see that what’s in bloom now are cherries. Not so in the rest of the city. Plums are looking nice and colourful, particularly the pink ones. And the flush of 1600 ‘Akebono’ cherries has hit at the same time. You’ll have to get up close and look for clusters of cherries vs individual stems off the branch carrying the plum blossoms. As for how to distinguish all those cultivars opening at once now, Douglas Justice’s talk this Thursday night, 7:30 at VanDusen, is designed to help you do just that. Douglas usually has examples of several of these cultivars and shows us what to look at and what to look for to figure out what these trees are. This talk is free and is open to the public, not just cherry scouts. Please send me a note to register if you’re coming: email@example.com. In the West End and Stanley Park, what’s out now are, in order of appearance, 'Accolade', 'Pandora', 'Beni-shidare', 'Somei-yoshino', 'Akebono', 'Umineko', 'Spire', 'Rancho' and probably 'Yae-beni-shidare'. Coming in the next four-five days are 'Takasago', 'Mikuruma-gaeshi' and 'Shirotae'. In the rest of the city, except for South Cambie and Riley Park, things should be about the same or just a few days behind. Also out now are ‘Afterglow’ and Schmitt Cherry. I don’t know about the Star Cherries at the Planetarium, but I think they’ll be out soon. Things are really reluctant to open in the neighbourhoods where the Douglas Park and Queen Elizabeth Park favourites are. There were maybe ten open blossoms on the ‘Somei-yoshino’ for Alex Downie’s Talk andWalk today (no problem – Alex had plenty of interesting things to say anyway), and I saw a photo of Douglas Park ‘Somei-yoshino’ with buds looking just as pink. Yet a mile away, that cultivar and ‘Akebono’ are wide open. Well, we can’t be everywhere at once to see them all anyway.