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This cherry blossom (sakura) is in the kitchen garden and cherries will soon be blossoming also in the Glade and Italian garden. Our local Trustees will enjoy their Hanami in isolation!

Did you know that the Japanese tradition of ‘hanami’ (which translates to cherry blossom viewing) may date back to the Heian Period (794 – 1185) and was originally the viewing of plum blossoms? In Japan cherry blossoms represent the ephemeral nature of life; hope and rebirth; and friendship and alliance. Can anyone tell me if the change of hanami from plum to cherry blossom was the result of the samurai class and their leaders adopting the cherry blossom as a symbol of their morals or vice versa? Whichever, I have read that Yoshimun, Shogun from 1716 to 1745, proactively planted cherry blossom trees to develop the custom further.

We have planted cherries in the Gardens in honour of Harold Peto, who redesigned the Gardens in 1902. Peto spent time in Japan in 1898, and was one of the first garden designers to introduce Japanese styles in English gardens. We have planted small weeping, white blossomed Iford cherries (so-called because Peto introduced them into his own garden in Wiltshire) and pink blossomed cherries in the Glade near Peto’s rill; as well as the fruiting varieties in the walled kitchen garden.