Reiwa Cherry Garden (Reiwa Sakura Teien, 令和桜庭園)
General information: around 50 taxons
Area: 0.36 ha
The collection was started in 2019 on the 100th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Japan (22 March). It is part of the Dendrological Collections Team. Around 50 different taxons can be found on an area of 0.360 ha, and include 50 specimens of Japanese species of cherry of the following varieties: the East Asian cherry (Prunus serrulata) ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura’, ‘Kanzan’, ‘Shimidsu’, ‘Fugenzo’, the winter-flowering cherry (Prunus ×subhirtella) ‘Pendula Plena Rosea’, ‘Fukubana’, ‘Autumnalis Rosea’, the Yoshino cherry (Prunus ×yedoensis) ‘Ivensii’, ‘Shidare Yoshino’, the weeping cherry (Prunus pendula) ‘Beni-shidare’, and ‘Snow Fountains’.
The garden’s creation was officially initiated on 28 April 2019 during the third edition of Japan Month at the Botanical Garden in Powsin in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan Tsukasa Kawada, who planted his cherry tree together with the vicepresident of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Romuald Zabielski – the originator of Japan Month and of the Reiwa Cherry Garden. Members of the Ursynów District Council and many friends of the Botanical Garden in Powsin also took part in planting the first cherry trees.
In July of the same year, the Botanical Garden hosted His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino and his wife, Her Imperial Highness Princess Kiko. The couple planted the cherry tree ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ (Prunus × subhirtella) – one of the most beautiful cherry varieties in our country, which impresses with its pink, then white, blossoms in spring and also looks beautiful in autumn.
The ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura’ variety of the Japanese cherry tree (Prunus serrulata) also grows in the collection, and was planted in September 2019 by members of the Japan Cherry Blossom Association and the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation for International Peace.
Apart from cherry trees, the garden also contains species and varieties of bamboo with different forms and uses, such as: sasa Tsuboiego (Sasa tsuboiana), showy yellow grove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata f.spectabilis), Veitch’s bamboo (Sasa veitchii), arrow bamboo (Pseudosasa japonica), Pleioblastus shibuyanus ‘Tsuboi’, Pleioblastus argenteostriatus ‘Pumilis’, Sasaella masamuneana ‘Albostriata’, and Fargesia murielae.
The composition is complemented by ornamental perennials originating from the Far East, for example: black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus) ‘Niger’, blue leadwood (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) ‘Gentian Blue’, Japanese sedge – Carex morrowii ‘Variegata’ and Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’, Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) ‘All Gold’, Siebold’s plantain lily (Hosta sieboldiana) ‘Elegans’, the Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis) ‘Rose Shade’, ×Heucherella ‘Kimono’, and bishop’s hat (Epimedium grandiflorum).
Reiwa Sakura Teien means:
- The word ‘Reiwa’ is made up of two characters, 令 and 和, the first of which signifies ‘beauty’, the second – ‘harmony’. According to the official statement of the Japanese Embassy from April 2019, the meaning behind the word ‘Reiwa’ is as follows: ‘culture is born and blossoms when people’s hearts are drawn towards each other in a beautiful way’. Reiwa is also the name of the new era of rule of the Emperor Naruhito, begun on 1 May 2019.
- The word ‘Sakura’, 桜, signifies the cherry tree and also cherry blossom – the well-known Japanese symbol of transient beauty. In Polish, Japan is often called the ‘Country of Cherry Blossom’ rather than the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, a more popular term worldwide with its source in the symbolism of the Japanese flag.
The sakura’s short period of blooming is associated with hanami (花見), the custom of observing and contemplating cherry blossoms. Hanami is also a time to meet with family, friends, and co-workers under cherry blossom trees, chat and eat and drink traditional dishes decorated with cherry blossom petals.
- The word Teien, 庭園, means garden – any garden, not just Japanese. Reiwa Sakura is not yet a Japanese garden, although it already has three of its characteristics – simplicity, harmony and elegance.
Our Reiwa Cherry Garden was made to create a space for the full appreciation of the beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms. The lawn within the garden is therefore available to anyone who would like to experience a taste of Japan and spend a pleasant time contemplating the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms.