Both Britons and the Japanese alike have a strong obsession with admiring a springtime blossom. As Juliet Roberts from Gardens Illustrated put it: “Blossom is a sure sign that spring has arrived. It has an innocent, simple beauty and its short lifespan is viewed by many cultures as a potent reminder of our own mortality.” This could be the reason that springtime blossoms intrigue us so deeply. Either that or just because it looks pretty.
There is no better (or prettier) blossom than that of the Japanese cherry blossom – a gorgeous spring display of the genus Prunus, varying in height, spread, habits, colours, prettiness, and so on. They are a symbol of destiny and karma in Japan, and the Japanese even have their own word for cherry blossom viewing: Hanami.
Luckily for us Britons, Japan and the UK share the same sort of climate which is just perfect for flowering cherry blossoms. It is not perfect, however, for the year-round avid short-wearers. That makes the UK an ideal place for growing these visually intoxicating trees. There are even a few places dotted around the country that offer an authentic Hanami experience.
Boasting the largest collection of Prunus Tai-haku in the world, Alnwick Garden often encourages visitors to enjoy a picnic under its extensive collection of Japanese blossoming cherries.
Brogdale Farm – Faversham, Kent
Also home to the National Fruit Collection, Brogdale Farm offer Hanami picnics throughout April each year. It provides visitors with the opportunity to ‘enjoy a Japanese experience’ by viewing both an exhibition and a guided tour of the blossoming orchards.
Sake no Hana – Mayfair, London
From March 20th to June 10th, Sake no Hana celebrates the cherry blossom season with a special ‘Sakura menu’ and an alluring installation of white blossoms which aim to ‘give guests a feeling of tranquility as if sitting beneath blossom trees’.
Roka – Fitzrovia, London
From April 26th to June 7th, the basement bar Roka is ‘transformed’ for six weeks with a cherry blossom installation, so you can enjoy contemporary Japanese food in an authentic Hanami setting.
Above are some of the best places to experience Hanami, so if you don’t want to dish out over five hundred quid on a plane ticket to Japan, there’s no excuse not to view a Japanese spring blossom.
Why not start planting a spring blossom in your garden? At Primrose we offer a huge range of ornamental cherry trees. Ranging from Cheal’s Weeping Cherry – a slender and pendulous plant, perfect for smaller gardens, or Prunus Kanzan, a large and elegant looking tree which is ideal as a statement piece if you have more space to play with.
A new year means another twelve months packed with events to entertain every type of gardener. From flower shows and expert demonstrations to art exhibitions and plants to buy, there’s plenty to do in 2017. Now’s the time to book your tickets, grab the early bird discounts and fill out your calendar.
2017 Gardening Events
28 – 30Big Garden Birdwatch – be part of the world’s largest wildlife survey by seeing what you can spot in your garden this weekend.
2 – 4Gardening Scotland – the epic national gardening show returns for three days packed full of inspirational plants and products for your garden. 7 – 11RHS Chatsworth Flower Show – a new show that promises to showcase innovative garden designs. 15 – 18Gardeners’ World Live – be part of everyone’s favourite show for talks with top experts, flower shopping and designer show gardens. 23 – 25RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show – bright, colourful plants pack out this magnificent summer gardening festival. 24 – 25Woburn Abbey Garden Show – visit the stunning abbey gardens for guided tours, tea, demonstrations and expert advice.
So there we have a great selection of gardening events coming up in 2017. We hope you enjoy them and be sure to let us know if you have any more suggestions!
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.
As Christmas and gardens go together so well, Christmas is a great opportunity to drag your love ones out to your favourite places! Here are Primrose’s picks for the top garden events in the United Kingdom this Christmas.
10-11 Return of the Reindeer – The Victorian Villa Holmwood House sees the return of Santa and his reindeer, and little ones may get to meet the man himself providing they’ve been good!
10-11, 17-18 A Christmas Carowl– The National Botanic Garden of Wales teams up with Pembrokeshire Falconry for a special festive production of Dickens’ Christmas Carol with a European Eagle Owl playing Scrooge.
12-13 Christmas at the Rowallane Garden – Not only are the charming gardens at Rowallane getting spruced up for the Christmas period, but there will be a two-day Yuletide market from the 12th and 13th, accompanied by wreath making and another appearance of Santa Claus. Also on the 12th, lucky young’uns will get to design their own gingerbread men.
16-23 Brodsworth Hall at Christmas – Brodsworth Hall and Gardens is transformed with colourful displays, twinkly lights, atmospheric music and the smell of seasonal food as Christmas approaches. Children even have the chance to meet Santa, who takes a break from his busy Christmas schedule.
17-18 RHS London Christmas Show – Hosted In London, the RHS’ inaugural Christmas show will feature a number of seasonal plants, making it perfect for those finishing their Christmas shopping! The event comes complete with winter themed stilt walkers, face painting and reindeer for the kids.
Till the 31st (Excluding the 25th) Christmas at the Alnwick Garden– With its traditional Christmas market, skating ring and of course Father Christmas, Alnwick Gardens is a great place for all the family. Special mention goes to the 18th with the Garden’s annual Grand Lantern parade.
Till the 31st A Very Victorian Christmas – The Victorian residents of Tyntesfield House are setting the whole estate aglow with Christmas lights and there will be Christmas themed events for everyone to enjoy including caroling at the chapel, wreath making and a carriage ride to see Father Christmas.
Open most days till the 2nd of Jan Christmas at Kew – Kew is spectacularly illuminated with its Winter trail now entering its fourth year. For the younger ones, there are rides and Santa’s North Pole village. Also available are the usual seasonal culinary delights.
Till the 2nd of Jan (Excluding 24, 25) The Magical Lantern Festival– Described as spectacular fusion of art heritage and culture, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is embellished with giant lanterns brought over from China. The event also includes a huge Christmas fairy themed area stretching across landscape.
Jorge works in the Primrose marketing team. He is an avid reader, although struggles to stick to one topic!
His ideal afternoon would involve a long walk, before settling down for scones.
Jorge is a journeyman gardener with experience in growing crops.