07 Oct 2022

Green Fingers: World cup inspired gardening

Green Fingers: World cup inspired gardening

Native Japanese plants like the cherry blossoms above do well in our climate because we share a similar climate

WITH the dreadful and wet weather we have had earlier this week you would be forgiven for not venturing into the garden. You may even have been tempted to watch some of the Rugby World Cup.

I know some people who have travelled to Japan for some of the games. The reports coming back of Japanese customs and culture are indeed very interesting. The rugby World Cup continues and finishes in November- we do not yet know which teams will make it to the final. If you wish to be reminded of the 2019 rugby world cup or Japan in general then certain trees and shrubs can be used.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

These trees do so well in Ireland because we share the same latitudinal lines as Japan. This makes both countries climate and the weather very similar. The climate may be even better in Ireland because our winters are milder. Cherry Blossoms are very important to Japanese culture. It is said that to spend a lifetime looking for the perfect Cherry Blossom is a life well spent. The annual cherry blossom festival is a much-anticipated event. One thing to bare in mind is that flowering cherries are different to fruiting cherries. Some cherry trees are grown for fruit. Others are grown for large flowers. You can have trees for either fruit or flowers but not both.

There are actually hundreds of different varieties of Japanese Cherry Blossom to suit all aspects and situations in every garden. In our garden we have several Cherry Blossoms. I myself have planted several Mount Fuji (Prunus Shirotae) cherry blossom trees planted. They were about 1.2M high when planted. They have now almost doubled this height. They have also spread across much more and are now wider than they are high. This is not surprising considering they are specifically chosen for their weeping or lateral habit. If space is an issue for you then you could choose a flagpole cherry (Prunus Amanogawa).

Japanese Maple

These are grown primarily for autumn colour. Japanese maples can range in autumn colour from pale pink through brilliant orange to vibrant red. The colour is decided in part by the soil the tree is planted into. If the soil is acidic or boggy then the trees will have more vibrant colour. Japanese Maples can be expensive to buy. This is because they are so slow at growing. So in order for them to get to any saleable size they need to be several years old.


Most, but not all, rhododendrons are evergreen. They are grown in the garden for their showey flowers in spring. The most abundant colour is purple although they are available in a variety of pastel tones.


As with Rhododenrons, Azalea's also need acid or ericacious soil. Many grow to sizes smaller than Rhododendron so they are more suitable for smaller gardens.

They are similar in habit to rhododendrons. Azalea's have the added benefit of being ideal for planting into a rockery or even a Japanese themed garden.

Contact James

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