The grounds of Osaka Castle are home to a great variety of plants, including 1,250 plum trees from 95 varieties. These trees are known as Kanbai(寒梅) – this name describes the fact they bloom much earlier in the year than cherry blossom. They can be enjoyed from early February to early March, so yesterday Emma and I dropped by to see the first signs of bloom.
A man had brought his pet budgie down to chill out in the branches, he attracted quite a crowd!
Plenty of people were about enjoying the first signs of spring.
Three impressive bonsai trees on display, all 50 years old.
We also met a really nice guy named Takashi, origami is a hobby of his and he made peacocks for Emma and I. Thanks, Takashi!
So not a great deal of bloom yet, but seeing it starting to appear is a nice reminder that spring is coming. We’ll be checking back again soon to see the blossom in full glory!
Your website is one that came upon when I was researching plum orchards to learn about pruning plum trees.
When I was a boy some many decades ago my parents had a prune orchard where I learned to prune fruit trees. One might think that pruning plums would be the same as pruning prune trees. Indeed, the similarities are evident, however the differences are many when all the species of plums are included in the question. When I was confronted with how to prune my four-variety grafted plum tree it seemed that what I learned in my family’s orchard was not directly transferable to other plums. Your beautiful photos will be very helpful in answering the questions in my mind and I thank you.
Please allow me to offer a small correction to your text. Your reference to 95 species of plums is not correct. There may be more than 20 species of plum but there are certainly not 95. And most of those 20 plus plum species are not usable. Perhaps you meant to say 95 varieties.
With gratitude, Michael Novotny
Hi Michael, thanks so much for your comment! I appreciate your correction and have changed the post as you suggested – I got that information from an information board in the plum orchard itself, I imagine the translation must’ve been a little off – to an non-native speaker I suppose the definitions of “varieties” and “species” would be rather similar.
I’m very glad to hear the photos were helpful to you, good luck with your pruning efforts!