The Teddington Gardener

A speedy 44 minute Hanami Festival – the Rise and Rise of the Cherry Blossom Empire @Kewgardens #Hanami

IMG_1644IMG_1493Back again – a return to Kew after two incredibly hot and sunny days which have brought on the display immeasurably. I thought it was good on a dull Monday morning, but today, more, more and more blossom, puffed out, expanded and exploded and there is still more to come!

Some of the trees that offered barely a bud are now offering up their first full blooms amongst a myriad plump pink and white pompoms. Those that were seemingly extravagant then, are now smothered in flower with more and more leaf adding colour, texture and contrast to the display.

IMG_1566I was on a deadline, so my time was limited – I parked up in my favourite spot, immediately outside the Victoria Gate entrance ready for the 9.30 opening and made my way straight to the Cherry Walk (just past the leafy Rose Garden itself behind the Palm House). In less than a quarter of an hour I had trotted through the Cherry Grove picking out the new voices in the floral choir, picking up the crescendo from the rest and making notes for a third visit!

IMG_1468I think the following photographs will explore the newer notes in the opera (is this metaphor going to far) while seeing how the themes develop with some familiar names from Monday’s symphony….. (enough!)

IMG_1446IMG_1445IMG_1441IMG_1442The Palm House with the Water Lily House beyond. The Rose Garden forms a semi-circle in front of the vaulting glasshouse.

IMG_1443This view beckons you on… and on to the Cherry Walk –

IMG_1458IMG_1450IMG_1453IMG_1457IMG_1459IMG_1460IMG_1461IMG_1462IMG_1463IMG_1464IMG_1467IMG_1468IMG_1471Petals begin to fall on the grass… I should make a note about the bark on these cherry trees – you can see a little just where the labels are pinned on to the trunk. Beautiful, many of them, with wide lenticels streaking around the circumference.

IMG_1475IMG_1476IMG_1483This tree, and its twin nestled into the flank of Prunus Shirotai, seems to be completely made of blossom now, a confection with hardly a branch or twig in sight!

IMG_1482IMG_1486IMG_1487IMG_1488IMG_1489IMG_1491Here it is (above) being enfolded into the larger Prunus Shirotai.

IMG_1499IMG_1502IMG_1503I am rather taken with the columnar form of the branches here…Prunus jamasakura ‘Ichihara’.

IMG_1504IMG_1514IMG_1516IMG_1517IMG_1524IMG_1521IMG_1528IMG_1532IMG_1534IMG_1535IMG_1536IMG_1537IMG_1538IMG_1541IMG_1543IMG_1551IMG_1552IMG_1558IMG_1566I have a feeling we are back here, with the white blossom, to Tai Haku, The Great White Cherry.

IMG_1569IMG_1570IMG_1572This one, Prunus Matsumae Oshio, is a small specimen, in the flanks of a larger tree, Prunus Umineko, which only serves to emphasise the tiny proportions of the deep cerise double blooms.

IMG_1574IMG_1575IMG_1576IMG_1579IMG_1581IMG_1591IMG_1593IMG_1594IMG_1595IMG_1596IMG_1598IMG_1602IMG_1599IMG_1606IMG_1617IMG_1614IMG_1615IMG_1618IMG_1620IMG_1621IMG_1622IMG_1624IMG_1639Walking away from the Cherry Walk, there was another little grove of Blossom that I wanted to investigate… but looking back –

IMG_1641 (2)IMG_1635Off-theme, this is a pear tree, a matched pair just at the start of the Cherry Walk, but it is beautiful and I’m the Boss, so it has a place amongst the cherries!

IMG_1447IMG_1449IMG_1630IMG_1631IMG_1632This second pear tree flanks the Cherry Walk – and there was a very insistent Robin singing sway from its branches.

But back to the Hanami Festival. Walking back towards the exit, this grove of candy floss!

IMG_1642IMG_1644IMG_1646IMG_1650IMG_1652IMG_1654IMG_1655IMG_1657IMG_1659IMG_1660IMG_1668IMG_1669IMG_1670IMG_1676IMG_1678IMG_1680IMG_1682IMG_1683IMG_1686IMG_1690IMG_1790and on to work…!

I think there is a third visit in this series – the newest blossom needs to expand and the older blossom to collapse….

…. the Rise and Fall of the Cherry Blossom Empire…

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