Across Britain, the streets come alive with cherry blossom

A A A

"Loveliest of trees," wrote the poet AE Housman a century ago, "the cherry, now, is hung with bloom along the bough..."

He went on to describe a white-blossoming cherry – "wearing white for Eastertide" – but there's no doubt he would have been just as taken with this magnificent pink-blossoming specimen which was on display in a quiet square yesterday in Kensington, London.

But Kensington could have been Bayswater or Hampstead or Chiswick or Islington, for all over the capital, indeed all over much of southern Britain cherry trees are in flower now in quite splendid fashion.

Along the dual carriageway leading up to Twickenham Bridge in south-west London, for example, alternate pink and white cherry trees are giving the appearance of Neapolitan ice cream, while in nearby Kew, the cherry blossom is wonderfully completing the Japanese Landscape section of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

In some areas, the cherries have been flowering much earlier than expected. "The cherry blossom is a really magnificent sight and a great indicator that spring has arrived," said Dominic Price, a spokesman for the UK charity Plantlife. "People usually associate blossom with Easter and it normally flowers in April but in some parts of the country it is four weeks earlier this year.

"The fact that the blossom has come so soon may also mean it will be a good year for cherries, as it kickstarts the whole process of forming fruit earlier."

* Judging has been slightly delayed in the £5,000 essay prize on the future of England's forests sponsored by the Cambridge-based wildlife conservation charity Fauna and Flora International in conjunction with The Independent. The sheer number of entries has meant the process of creating a short list is taking longer than anticipated, but final judging is now set for 3 May and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project