Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plum blossoms at Shukkeien Garden

One thing about Hiroshima that I really love is how there are always flowers blooming no matter what time of year it is. The weather is mild enough to allow this, and the Japanese are very conscientious about planning their gardens so various flowers bloom year-round. Consequently, winter is not nearly so dreary around here as it is back in Ohio.

I still remember the spring we had in Ohio before moving to Japan. It was the tail end of winter and the weather was uncharacteristically warm. We walked around town admiring the tulips and other flowers that bloomed during this warm snap. Then, in true Ohio style, the mercury dipped some 30 or 40 degrees overnight and the freeze killed everything. So much for the flowers that spring. You could say I was a bit pissed.

That doesn't happen in Hiroshima. The weather here is very stable and predictable, with a slow, steady roll between each season.

In February the major flower to bloom is the plum blossom. They come out about a month before the cherry blossoms, and though they're not as loved by the Japanese as cherry blossoms, they look pretty similar.

The small but excellent Japanese garden in Hiroshima city, Shukkeien Garden, features a grove of plum trees that burst into clouds of white and pink petals come February. Here are a few pictures from our trip there on the last day of February.

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