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Blossom Time In The East End

April 12, 2024
by the gentle author



In Bethnal Green

Let me admit, this is my favourite moment in the year – when the new leaves are opening fresh and green, and the streets are full of trees in flower. Several times, in recent days, I have been halted in my tracks by the shimmering intensity of the blossom. And so, I decided to enact my own version of the eighth-century Japanese custom of hanami or flower viewing, setting out on a pilgrimage through the East End with my camera to record the wonders of this fleeting season that marks the end of winter incontrovertibly.

In his last interview, Dennis Potter famously eulogised the glory of cherry blossom as an incarnation of the overwhelming vividness of human experience. “The nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous … The fact is, if you see the present tense, boy do you see it! And boy can you celebrate it.” he said and, standing in front of these trees, I succumbed to the same rapture at the excess of nature.

In the post-war period, cherry trees became a fashionable option for town planners and it seemed that the brightness of pink increased over the years as more colourful varieties were propagated. “Look at it, it’s so beautiful, just like at an advert,” I overheard someone say yesterday, in admiration of a tree in blossom, and I could not resist the thought that it would be an advertisement for sanitary products, since the colour of the tree in question was the exact familiar tone of pink toilet paper.

Yet I do not want my blossom muted, I want it bright and heavy and shining and full. I love to be awestruck by the incomprehensible detail of a million flower petals, each one a marvel of freshly-opened perfection and glowing in a technicolour hue.

In Whitechapel

In Spitalfields

In Weavers’ Fields

In Haggerston

In Weavers’ Fields

In Bethnal Green

In Pott St

Outside Bethnal Green Library

In Spitalfields


In Bethnal Green Gardens

In Museum Gardens

In Museum Gardens

In Paradise Gardens

In Old Bethnal Green Rd

In Pollard Row

In Nelson Gardens

In Canrobert St

In the Hackney Rd

In Haggerston Park

In Shipton St

In Bethnal Green Gardens

In Haggerston

At Spitalfields City Farm

In Columbia Rd

In London Fields

Once upon a time …. Syd’s Coffee Stall, Calvert Avenue

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Yvonne Neblett permalink
    April 12, 2024

    Thank you for brightening my day with your beautiful photos of spring flowers in this green and pleasant land of ours! The cherry blossom are my favourite.

  2. Andy permalink
    April 12, 2024

    I find these photos so uplifting Gentle Author .
    I like them very much .
    Thank you and bless you for making people happy .
    You made me happy .


  3. Marcia Howard permalink
    April 12, 2024

    Fabulous! Food for the Soul…

  4. April 12, 2024

    A Happy Spring- and Blossomtime to All!

    Love & Peace

  5. Christine permalink
    April 12, 2024

    Thank you for the superb blossom photos! Always make me smile 😀 x

  6. Eve permalink
    April 12, 2024

    ..blooming glorious!

  7. Robyn permalink
    April 13, 2024

    Many, many thanks for the wonderful photos – such joyful blossoms!
    I always enjoy your fascinating emails – they send me down so many rabbit holes!!

  8. April 16, 2024

    I recently came across Syd’s Coffee Stall in a repurposed cold war airfield hangar near Swindon, as my organisation share this space for storage with the Museum of London and Imperial War Museum, and I can only presume it is in their care, out of sight for now but at least still with us.

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