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Garden Clinic’s Graham Ross to unpack the mystery of the Cherry Blossom

28 July 2017 – Media Releases

Why is a Cherry Blossom like a Samurai? The Garden Clinic’s Graham Ross will answer this question and more, when he takes the stage as a special guest of the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival on Tuesday 22 August, 12pm-3pm.

The renowned horticulturist is an expert on Cherry Blossoms (called Sakura in Japan), having led over 40 tours to Japan since 1980. Graham Ross will share his deep knowledge and affection for the tree, on a day that includes tours of the Auburn Botanic Gardens, Bonsai workshops and Ikebana (flower arrangement) demonstrations.

Graham Ross encourages visitors to the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival, which in 2016 numbered around 60,000, to appreciate the full ‘dramatic arc’ of the tree and not only the flowering.

”It’s not just the explosion of millions of flower petals bedecking the tree branches; it’s the journey to that vision that’s important,” Mr Ross said.

“The bare winter trunks, themselves beautiful in their shapes and patterns, will gradually, depending on the weather, have their buds change appearance. The final vision is nothing short of breathtakingly beautiful, mesmerising in its perfection.

“We must remember in a short season, the flowers may last only five to six days, in a good season, seven to nine days and in an exceptional year, like 2016, nine to 14 days.

“The locals have a saying that is very relevant, ‘The Flowering Cherries are like the life of a samurai, short and glorious.’

“The flowering cherry season is not just about cherries. It’s a dramatic calendar event. It’s the time to party- Hanami.

“This is when your family, friends and work colleagues get together under a flowering cherry tree to celebrate a new season, friendship and renewal.

“It’s an even more important time to start university studies, move house, propose, get married, get divorced, start a new job or try something new. It all happens in a two week period in spring.

“Yes, those wonderful flowering cherry trees have a lot to answer for,” Mr Ross said.

The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival runs from Friday 18 August – Sunday 27 August at the Auburn Botanic Gardens. For the full calendar of events, from Sumo to Silent Disco, Godzilla to gardens, foodies to flowers, visit: