The Japanese have a noun for the activity of ‘flower viewing’ – hanami.
One of the first phrases I learnt in secondary school Japanese translates as “shall we go flower viewing” (Hanami ni ikimashoo ka) – and it has stayed with me ever since.
A couple of years ago a mate and I did an impromptu Tokyo trip and just caught the end of the cherry blossom season. I was rapt to witness the blossom worshippers celebrating spring. All power to a culture that can see the magic and meditation in how petals fall, I say.
I subsequently dug up my back yard and replaced the drought-ravaged lawn with crushed rock. A garden redesign takes longer than writing a novel but I’m working towards a Japanese feel, with a bias to native Australian plants to bring the birds back. Here’s part of the work in progress during Melbourne’s own cherry blossom season – before the cold snap washed it all away.