In Japan during the Heian period 794-1185, the appreciation of cherry blossoms came into ascendancy. It is said ‘news that the cherry was in blossom quickened people’s hearts; they became drunk with the brilliance and magnificence of a tree in the crowning glory of full blossom, or of a group of trees blossoming together’.
It is with this knowledge that we should enjoy the early pink spring blossom of Cerasus subhirtella var. pendula (formerly known as Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’). This early pink blossom is then followed by a marvellous procession of other blossoms of the flowering cherry collection here at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah. The white flowering cherries follow with Prunus serrulata cultivars ‘Shirotae’ and ‘Tai Haku’.
This group also encompasses many of the fruit and nut trees that we are all familiar with such as plums peaches apricots and almonds. If you have a small garden and would like to have some spring blossom, then perhaps the dwarf flowering almond Prunus glandulosus ‘Sinensis’ would be the right size. All of these flowering cherries and the dwarf flowering almond can be seen along the Plant Explorers Walk, in the Residence Garden and beside the path below the Residence Garden.
A Japanese poem by Yosen Hoshi states ‘Let us leave our parting to these mountain cherry blossoms: whether you stay a while, or take your leave, let the flowers decide’. This poem perhaps suggests that you should have a tranquil moment with the cherry blossoms, enjoy their beauty and take the memory away with you.