The tiny garden of our rented Paris flat is dominated by two trees, a birch growing in the neighbour’s garden and a straggly, lopsided cherry on our side of the fence. The cherry isn’t a beautiful tree. Its branches zig-zag towards the light, tangling with the iron railings, overhanging the boundary wall and knocking on the window. When it bursts into spring bloom the flowers are packed so densely that they resemble crumpled tissue paper. A few days later the opening leaves start to push past the flowers, wind and rain arrive and suddenly the garden is covered with drifts of soft, fragrant pink petals.
In a week the tree will be green, the petals will be swept into the compost bag and the garden will be back to normal but for a few days it has been ridiculously, extravagantly pretty in pink.