Peak Cherry Blossom? March 19th

Photos by Natalie Tobert (to see her fantastic sculptures, look here:)

Peak cherry blossom is sometime between late March and early April, but this year has been warm, so this weekend might be the best time to see cherry blossom.  There are many suggested places, and I enclose a couple of web links with more details.  But my friend, Natalie Tobert, posted today about Japanese people queuing up to photo cherry blossom in Swiss Cottage.

Here is an Instagram video of the blossom in Swiss Cottage, near Hampstead, London.

For the Japanese Cherry Blossom represents both the beauty of life and its brevity. Sakura are honoured by the Samurai, and were on the badges of KamiKazi Pilots in World War 2. The Japanese begin their blossom time with Plum Blossom, which can be difficult to tell apart from Cherry but it is much more fragrant.

Cherry trees consist of 430 species in the genus Prunus. Wild Cherry and Bird Cherry are native to the UK.  Normal blossom time is April, but in mild winters and sheltered places like London they can blossom as soon as February.  The flowers are known as Satura in Japan, and viewing them is ‘Hanami’.  Bird Cherry usually flowers in May.  Recent blossoming is over 7 days earlier than the average for the previous 1,200 years.

Here is the Natural History Museum discover cherry-trees website which has more information and suggested places to see blossom.

And here the Sakura-in-london-where&when

The Woodland Trust has a great web page about blossom in general and I include their useful table of blossom time, below.

They also have a ‘nature’s calendar’ with which you can participate in ‘Citizen Science’ projects to track the progress of the sessions in nature.