Tree blossom in Springfield Park resembles tranquillity of Japanese gardens

Springfield Park, Hackney

Spring has sprung in Springfield Park - Credit: Alice Bonifacio

Spring beckons. Since my childhood, this has been marked by the arrival of blossom: a promise of longer days stretched outside and delayed bedtimes.

The last weekend of February brought a sense of relief, as more people ventured outdoors. Eager to ride my new bike, I headed to Springfield Park to see the newly planted cherry trees. Welcoming the recent donation from Japan, the mayor of Hackney heralded the trees as a sign of “hope, beauty and new life”, providing respite from the pandemic.

As part of a relaunch of its #BlossomWatch campaign, the National Trust has published a guide on how to identify different types of blossom around this time of year, including blackthorn, apple and plum.

Alice Bonifacio, environmental campaigner and nature writer

Alice Bonifacio visited Springfield Park to see the newly planted cherry trees - Credit: Alice Bonifacio

Though not yet in bloom, other cherry trees have started to flower: tiny specs of pink and white are discernible through winter branches. I reflected on how Springfield Park possesses similar qualities to that of a Japanese garden: a combination of soft, sloping landscape and water offering peace and tranquillity.

Owing to its geological significance, Springfield Park derives its name from seasonal springs as a result of water reaching clay underneath layers of sand and gravel deposited by the River Lea during the Ice Age. These ancient foundations form the basis for the park's ecosystem, supporting plants and wildlife above ground.

As I rounded the bottom of Wilson’s Hill, the bright sound of a song thrush could be heard over the soft chatter of friends and families walking and cycling and a fresh spring breeze swept through the treelined corridor.


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