Sakura time!

The Japanese Cherry in full bloom can’t be beaten. Here is a picture of the , upright ‘Amanogawa’ in my front garden… only tiny at the moment but it’s only 2 years old. Will no doubt start to make a real splash soon. Ths variety is ideal for a street tree as it is narrower than most so doesn’t dominate a small garden. I also love the pale pink semi-double blossom – so delicate!

The Japanese celebrate this time of year with parties and celebrations under the trees which they call Sakura time -what a lovely idea. I only wish we planted more in this country and had as much respect for nature.

Cherry’s are only 2 weeks in flowering but breathtaking when out, and even as the petals fall there is a quiet beauty in the ‘petaldust’ too. Give them a reasonable soil, and plenty of water in the first two years to help them establish, and they will live 20 – 30 years (some will last longer but rarely more than 40 in our climate). If they get diseased or suffer ‘die back’ cut them hard back in spring after flowering and they may revive. I’ve managed this several times with cherries in client’s gardens and they have always seemed to rejuvenate. It is a good idea to prune older trees after flowering anyway just to keep them in bounds.

Finally, maybe you can plant the odd fruiting variety too for some tasty fruit later in the year. These will grow well against a sheltered, semi-shaded wall where you can protect the fruit from birds by netting. Trees in the open will be  stripped bare by birds before you can harvest.