When the (fruit) trees awaken and seduce you with sweet flowers, you know that a new season is arriving. The trees show you that a fabulous period of wonderful blooming is on its way. Dainty flowers contrast with the rugged branches. Naughty petals in delicate colours lead you flirtatiously into spring.
COLOURS AND SHAPES
The various fruit trees treat us to different types of blossom. Plum blossom consists of delicate white flowers. The white flowers of the cherry tree grow and hang on long stems, accompanied by small green baby leaves. The pear tree’s white blossom is sturdier. If you want dark pink buds that open to reveal sweet pinkness, you should opt for apple blossom. Each fruit species can bloom for up to several weeks.
Blossom obviously represents spring, a new beginning and growth. Cherry blossom has additional meaning in Japan. Here this blossom type - sakura - represents life and the fact that we don’t control it. The weather conditions control the length of the bloom, literally with blossom and figuratively with a person's life. One type of blossom will put on a stunning display for a shorter time than another, and it’s very important to enjoy the flowering period to the full.
So many trees, so many origins. The pear tree, for example: first spotted some 3000 years ago at the foot of the Tian Shan, a mountain range in central Asia. As well as being a source of fruit, the tree has also had practical uses for a very long time. Pear wood has been found in the remains of prehistoric stilt houses on the Swiss lakes.
The apple tree was already announcing the arrival of spring in Europe some 10,000 years BC. People started cultivating this popular tree in south-east Asia some 4000 years BC. The edible apple took a little longer to arrive, since it required centuries of cross-pollinating, breeding and combining the 25 wild apple species.
In around 70 BC the Roman Lucius Licinius Lucullus brought the cherry tree to the West from north-east Anatolia. They had already embraced this blossom type in Japan long before that. The Japanese have had an important bond with nature for centuries, and in spring this bond strengthens even further during the sakura. Because the sakura is so important, the blossom was even used during the Second World War as a symbol to motivate the population. People started to believe that the souls of the fallen soldiers were reincarnated in the cherry blossom.