Back 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.
I 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!
I 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!)
The Palm House with the Water Lily House beyond. The Rose Garden forms a semi-circle in front of the vaulting glasshouse.
This view beckons you on… and on to the Cherry Walk –
Petals 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.
This 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!
Here it is (above) being enfolded into the larger Prunus Shirotai.
I am rather taken with the columnar form of the branches here…Prunus jamasakura ‘Ichihara’.
I have a feeling we are back here, with the white blossom, to Tai Haku, The Great White Cherry.
This 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.
Walking away from the Cherry Walk, there was another little grove of Blossom that I wanted to investigate… but looking back –
Off-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!
This 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!
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…