Springtime in the Japanese Garden

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A Japanese anenome shelters beneath Pieris Japonica Variegata

Prunus Kurilensis

Dogwood Sibirica Westonbirt in new bud

Forsythia brightens a border

With the gentle warming of soil and air, with fresh new buds appearing on trees and shrubs,  nature gently prods plants out of their winter dormancy, and prepares for another period of abundant growth in the warmth of a new season.  The worst of the winter frosts and snow have, hopefully at least, left us behind.

The first signs of Springtime in the Japanese Garden come from the flowers of the Cherry Blossom, with the pinks, whites and reds announcing the end of winter.  In Japan itself, this is a period of rejoicing, and Cherry Blossom festivals are held to welcome in the new season.

In the pond, the ice of winter has disappeared, and the many fish begin to make their appearance, enjoying the warming of the water, and the appearance of the many insects and larvae which make up their diet.  The frogspawn slowly transforms itself into tiny tadpoles.  The heron begins to make more regular appearances at the waters edge in search of an early breakfast or later evening meal.

Alongside the pond, the deep blue, and the white, pom pom, or drumstick, primulas (denticulata) are in flower.  The candleabra primulas are announcing their later arrival, the fresh new shoots of the various Japanese Iris start to show, the crocosmias, Harvest Lily, and Lucifer are almost jumping out of the ground, as everything takes on its new lease of life.

The Japanese Maples show their first buds, the hostas start to peek through the soil, and even the Giant Gunnera shows signs that it is anxious to again make an appearance. The early rhododendron's flowerbuds open in magnificent shades of pink and red.  The yellow glow of forsythia brightens the borders........

This is the time of year when the more tender plants can be carefully exposed to the elements.  Tasmanian Tree Ferns which have been protected during the winter by their dying fronds and bubblewrap, breathe a sigh of relief as they are once again shown the light of day.  Now they can make their way in the world once again.

The April showers will soon be a thing of the past.  As May approaches the later rhododendrons and azealeas add a little colour, the palmatums take on new leaf in their greens yellows and reds, the dogwood, Sibirica Westonbirt sprouts fine new pink shoots, the new red leaf of Photonia Red Robin, the stunning pink red leaves of Pieris Japonica (Forest Flame), Cotinus, Kerria Japonica, the list is endless...........

Soon the first swallows will appear, as they return from their long winter sojourn. The song of the Cuckoo can be heard in the stillness of the evening air.

Springtime has arrived.  Summer beckons.  Another Winter has passed into history.

Life is for living once again.

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