A corner of the Genus garden is affectionately known as Cherry Tree Corner and at this time of year it comes into its own with Prunus serrulata ‘Shirotae’, P. Serrula, P. sargentii, and P. x yedoensis all boasting beautiful blossom for over a month.
Flowering cherries are a popular street tree in many UK towns with blousy, pink, double flowered ‘Kanzan’, Prunus ‘Pink Perfection’, and in our local town, rarely seen lime green ‘Ukon’ (pictured).
Enjoying the cherry blossom is a national obsession in Japan where the progress of its flowering is monitored daily and reported widely on the national news as the season slowly progresses north. It’s a time of great celebration and whole families turn out for ‘hanami’ or flower viewing, picnicking under the cherry (sakura) blossom. Annual festivals start as early as January in tropical Okinowa before moving north where most festivals take place around the start of May. Excitement increases in the evening light when viewing of the illuminated blossom (yozakura) is accompanied by drinking of saki and general merriment.
A cup of tea might be our limit at Genus HQ but there’s no doubt that most gardens deserve space for at least one of these stunning trees.