I wish I knew the Manadrin for "cherry blossom". I think it might be "ying1 hua1". The number ones are silent, similar to Tom Leher's friend "Hen3ry." Actually, the numbers indicate which of 4 tones to use; if there is no number that indicates the neutral tone. Another way to write it is yīng huā. I think of this tone like a tuning fork since it doesn't rise or fall like the others. Anyhow, you can probably guess I'm looking into the Mandarin language. I want to go back to China and this time be able to speak it. As I have no actual free time, I'm listening to ChinesePod.com. I can get 4 lessons on each direction of my commute, though I generally only do one plus the practice bits.
My Chinese neighbor is impressed with my studies, but she's also very nice and probably wouldn't say anything if I was showing myself to be completely hopeless. :) She speaks Mandarin to Jasmine and to her grandson. She is a retired math teacher and taught a number of students with albinism in China. Her first question about Jasmine was, "How's her vision?" It was a much more knowledgeable question than most I get from people. She's always cooing over how beautiful Jasmine is.