With public gardens bursting into colour and the temperatures rising, it’s hard not to be seduced by some of the most famous springtime destinations. The cherry blossoms of Japan, tulip fields of Holland and wildflowers of the Channel Islands, are just some of the options which offer a colourful feast for the senses.
The springtime phenomenon in Japan
The cherry trees start to burst into blossom as early as January in Okinawa. This is the start of a tide of bloom which travels the length Japan over a three month period. From mid-march and into April, the cherry and plum trees have hit the middle of Japan, covering the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park in a gentle wash of pink tones. The spectacle doesn’t stop there. It carries on northward through the remaining countryside, finally reaching Hokkaido in May.
Japan’s oldest and possibly most famous cherry blossom attraction is Ueno Park, Tokyo. With over a thousand cherry trees, this public space is a blossoming spectacle and a deeply symbolic reminder of new beginnings as the gloom of winter disappears. These beautiful blooms also mark the arrival of both the Japanese financial and academic year, on April 1st.
More popular and probably the most well-known spring flower sensation in Europe are the iconic flower fields of Holland. At their most amazing between March and May the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens, provide an overpowering sense of splendour when all seven million tulips are in bloom. So popular is the spring bulb phenomenon that a dedicated cycle track offers a twenty-mile tour of Holland’s bulb-growing region, which stretches from Haarlem to Leiden. If daffodils are your bulb of choice, then March/April is the best time of year to view Hollands fields of cadmium. With the vibrant hues of the tulip fields reaching their peak in May.
The wild Channel Islands
Closer to home it is in late April that the celebrations begin for the Wildflower Fortnight in the Channel Islands. As the sun begins to rise higher in the sky and begins to penetrate the frostbitten fields with heat, a blanket of flowers bursts into life. With over thirty miles of unspoiled coastline, the smallest of the island, Sark, allows the best-uninterrupted cliff views of an abundance of species.