*Cherry blossom poem by 12th century poet, Saigyo Hoshi. A kinder view of the 'hanamai' (blossom viewing) parties is described in this verse by Kobayashi Issa, late 18th /early 19th century Haiku master of Japan: 'Under the cherry blossoms / strangers are not / really strangers.'
Most people have a connection to blossom trees; whether it’s an early memory, a particularly stunning tree, or a memorable experience beneath the blooms; blossom is universal, it connects with us all.
This year the National Trust will run a bigger Blossom programme than ever. It seeks to inspire everyone, everywhere to celebrate the blossom season, and embed it as a key event in the annual cultural calendar. Providing an annual moment to connect with the beauty and meaning of blossom. We have lots of exciting projects as part of this including further insights into Blossom through research, a tree planting programme, and an urban partnership scheme. Inspired by Hanami, the ancient Japanese tradition of viewing and celebrating blossom as the first sign of spring, we’ll also once again be encouraging nature lovers to watch for blossoming buds and share them online using #BlossomWatch.
‘Plum Tree among the Skyscrapers’
For World Poetry Day, we’re unveiling the first in a series of blossom inspired works penned by Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate, telling a story of perseverance, renewal, and hope. The series will be written over the next two years, touching on themes including folklore, seasonal rhythms, nature’s beauty, and the loss and restoration of blossom. Through this collaboration, Simon will be aiming to express the beauty and wonder of nature, helping people to connect with blossom, while also addressing the ever-growing challenges nature is facing.
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