Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Stanley Park, April 18 to 26

The beautiful cherry blossom season of 2020 is winding down, to be followed by the later parade of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas.

The ‘Takasago’ north of Rose Garden Lane continues to blossom in the last week of the festival.

The ‘Takasago’ north of Rose Garden Lane continues to be outstanding, whereas I went passed two ‘Rancho’ trees growing south of the Stanley Park Pavilion, and realized I had missed their blooming entirely.

I have enjoyed photographing, smelling, and learning about four more Prunus cultivars over the last ten days: ‘Kanzan’, ‘Gyoiko’, ‘Shiro-fugen’, and ‘Shujaku’. In addition, I came across many charming, single trees of Prunus avium—at the Pooh Corner entrance to Stanley Park, along the Azalea Walk around the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden, around Lost Lagoon, and north of the Vancouver Aquarium.

A beautiful Prunus avium, even growing where it is, snug against the north fence of the Vancouver Aquarium
This image of Prunus avium blossoms shows the curled-back sepals that
VCBF Scout Co-ordinator, Wendy Cutler, explains identifies this species.

The Prunus serrulata cultivar known as ‘Kanzan’ is a familiar sight to Vancouverites. There are two robust specimens growing on the corner of Park Lane and the extension of Comox Street, their double blossoms growing in clusters.

Two ‘Kanzan’ grow on the corner of the extension of Comox Street where it meets Park Lane.

On the way from the Azalea Walk in the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden to the Works Yard at the northeast side of the Pitch & Putt grows a graceful ‘Gyoiko’, admired for its very unusually coloured double blossoms, the petals being ivory with green flecks and stripes and the sepals being pale green.

‘Gyoiko’ arches gracefully over the path.
Green speckles and stripes on these ‘Gyoiko’ blossoms make this cultivar recognizable.

Northwest of the Japanese Canadian War Memorial grows a grove of a dozen or more ‘Shiro-fugen’. This planting is long established. The pink buds accompanying the copper-coloured leaves are now fading to pale pink and white.

Double-petalled ‘Shiro-fugen’ blossoms pale to white.
This grove of ‘Shiro-fugen’ grows northwest of the Japanese Canadian War Memorial.

The last cultivar to draw my attention this year was the solitary ‘Shujaku’ growing in the median between the pedestrian and cycle path near the stone bridge west of Lost Lagoon. It is a semi-double-blossomed type.

Pedestrians go on the left while cyclists go on the right of the only ‘Shujaku’ in Stanley Park.
The ‘Shujaku’ shows some disease.

While I was making my way along the Azalea Walk on Friday, April 24, Dave, one of the Vancouver Park Board gardeners, was sawing a limb off the ‘Shujaku’ to make things safer for cyclists. He said a decision had almost been made some years ago to remove this tree, but it has recovered very well. The photo above does indeed show some disease.

As Dave had already put the pruned branch in his gardening truck, I asked him whether he could give me a couple of the blossoms, which he did.

Nina Shoroplova is bedecked by ‘Shujaku’ already pruned by Dave,
a Vancouver Park Board gardener.

So now, all that’s left is to wait until next year.

My thanks and gratitude go to all those involved with the 2020 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

Cherry Scout

Nina Shoroplova

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