Sakura in Mid Spring: Prunis ‘Ichiyo’

Here is a very poetic description that I am quoting verbatim because it is perfection, like this beautiful flowering cherry tree:

With flowers resembling a ballerina’s petticoat, award-winning Prunus ‘Ichiyo’ is a small, deciduous tree of spreading habit, with gracefully ascending main branches.


Opening from pink buds, profuse double, shell pink flowers appear in mid to late spring. Held in pendulous, long-stalked clusters of 3-4 flowers, they fade almost to white as they age.


The blooms are quite large, up to 2 inches across (5 cm), and they count up to 16-22 petals, nicely arranged around an open heart.


Emerging pale bronze-green, the leaves turn deep green in summer to create a fresh canopy and warm up to orange and red in fall.


‘Ichiyo’ means ‘one leaf’ in Japanese, in reference to the presence of a leaf-like pistil in the heart of the flower.


Information source: Gardenia.

Sakura in Early Spring: ‘Somei-Yoshino’

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Somei-Yoshino’ at Douglas Park


Prunus x yedoensis ‘Somei-yoshino’ is the most widely planted flowering cherry tree Japan. It is an early-season cultivar of medium size, 5 to 6 metres (16.5 to 20  feet) high and wide with broad, spreading branches. The single, blush-white flowers, about 3 centimetres (1.25 inches) across, open from pale pink buds and completely cover the branches before the leaves emerge. The elliptic, toothed leaves, up to 10 centimetres (4 inches) long, emerge pale bronze-green, and become dark green before they turn orange and yellow in autumn.

(Information source: RHS Grower Guide – AGM Ornamental Cherries, page 55.)

Every spring, sometime in April, I photograph these floriferous trees when they are in prime bloom. The branches, smothered in blush pink blossoms, create a canopy above the central walkway through the park.

A Year in Flowers, Week 13: The Balcony Garden

Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinths)

The colour, flower structure, and growth habit of Muscari armeniacum have totally captivated me.


“Muscari armeniacum, commonly called grape hyacinth, is an early spring-blooming bulbous perennial that is native to southeastern Europe (including Armenia). It features conical racemes of slightly fragrant, tightly packed, deep violet blue, urn-shaped flowers atop scapes rising to 8” tall in early spring. Each bulb produces 1-3 scapes with 20-40 flowers per scape. Each flower has a thin white line around the rim. Dense inflorescence purportedly resembles an elongated, upside-down bunch of grapes, hence the common name.”

Information source: Missouri Botanical Garden


A Year in Flowers: The First Days of Spring

Inspired by the arrival of spring and this @floretflower Instagram post, I am going to begin a new project: documenting the gardening year in flowers. Even though I’ve been regularly posting botanical images for the past several years, I’ve not been systematic, disciplined or fully intentional about my creative practice and there have been gaps of weeks, if not a month or more between entries. Although I would like to publish daily, because of all my other commitments and activities, I will set the bar lower and aim to post weekly, although each entry may contain more than one image and include more than one day.

Blooming now in neighbourhood gardens:

Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinths)

Crocus vernus (Spring Crocus)

Prunus subhirtella ‘Whitcomb’ (Whitcomb Cherry)