I tend to be a little cautious about flowering cherry trees, I suppose because their flowering season is so spectacular but so short. Moreover they often remind me of Japanese garden styles, which I am not very fond of. However the whole genus of Prunus is huge and varied, and includes plenty of individual species that don’t look as though they belong around the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. These are two opposites. First, is Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-No-mai’, which can be known as Fuji Cherry. This is a lovely species, actually a tree with a single stem, but looking completely shrubby. The flowers are very pale pink, becoming a more dusky pink as they age, and the leaves have lovely tints in the autumn. The bees are all over it.
The other Prunus is P. avium, the Gean, or Wild Cherry. It’s one of the most beautiful of native trees, and suffered a decline which is nowadays being reversed, as it has great timber value when well grown. It is the main source for cherry wood after all. The problem has been that it does not grow very fast or big in forestry terms, and has usually been planted singly in an afterthought mixture. Here it is not actually growing in the garden, but out of the almost vertical rock face of the old quarry which adjoins us, giving shelter to a very well protected and inaccessible foxes’ earth.