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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Cherry blossom season: London, Japan, Washington

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. We do this in a bid to be less polluting and tackle climate change while at the same time keeping a global outlook. Here's a way to enjoy a taste of the cherry blossom of Japan, or the Washington cherry festival, just by taking a little walk around your local area. Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).

I love the way tree flowers are so showy, and yet most of would disagree that trees have flowers - because we think of it as blossom. 
Every year - after that long winter - the blossom seems sensational, as you can see from this gorgeous cherry tree flowering in a nearby London street.

2015 is proving an amazing one for cherry blossom thanks to the brilliant blue skies offering perfect backdrops, and cold, windless nights allowing the blossom to cling on for just one more marvellous, frothy day.

Of course Japan is famous for its cherry spectacles - known as sakura. You can see a map of where the biggest blossoms are here. Only today I learnt that Washington offers a National Cherry Blossom festival, with peak bloom between mid March and mid April, see here.

Unsung splendours
Knowing how important blossom is to the Japanese, and people in Washington, it is rather wonderful to take a walk through your hometown and pass a street tree or a generous planting on a council estate and see these fabulous pink and white blossoms blanketing a tree.

In the UK, once the cherry is out, watch for pear, apple and then my absolute favourite, hawthorn (or May) blossom. Spring is earlier in the south, so if you miss it just try heading north for an extra burst of springtime joy.

Here's an interview I wrote recently with a London tree champion who has been involved in counting the capital's trees, read it here. It seems amazing that 7 million trees thrive in such a built up place. But back to cherry trees. If you love anime as well, springtime is your chance to dress up and get searching for blossom backgrounds for your selfies. If you don't want to walk, then just sit down with instagram.

Lots more info about trees, blossom and gardening from the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley, near Woking, Surrey.

Over to you
What's your favourite tree blossom?

1 comment:

Hannah Haworth said...

I love this time of year just for the gorgeous colours and Cherry Blossom is my favourite of all. London's parks have some lovely examples, particularly Kensington Gardens - lovely vibrant pinks!