We love the way the Japanese go mad for the cherry blossom season. The ephemeral flowering is a great excuse to go somewhere beautiful and share it with friends. Leaf-viewing season doesn’t call for quite so many parties in Japan but it is just as beautiful, as you can see in this shot. Graham Ross took the picture out of a window in the Imperial Villa in Nikko. Nikko is the site of Toshogu, Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyusu, who founded the Tokugawa shogunate. The area is famous for its autumn colour and a similar window-full of colour dazzles the dining room of the Nikko hotel we stay in, the Kanaya.
Autumn is Graham’s favourite time to visit Japan. The natural beauty will take your breath away. And so will the horticultural expertise – especially as it is applied to the chrysanthemum! To take a peek at what’s in store on the tour in November check out the itinerary or join Graham for morning tea next Wednesday, April 24, at Ross Garden Tours HQ at Beecroft. To book your place call 1300 233 200 or email.
For autumn leaf-viewing closer to home, join me for an autumn tour of the lovely towns of Bright, Beechworth and Yackandandah. We’ll wander under avenues of colour, visit some beautiful private gardens and eat some great local produce.
Or simply head up the mountains. Last weekend Mount Wilson was coloured for a party. Happy kids were kicking through fallen leaves, photographers were trying to get the perfect shot of crimson against blue, and crowds of families and friends were picnicking in the parks. For all the world like a Japanese cherry blossom party, but gold and red instead of pink and white.
There are a handful of lovely gardens in the area that are open through autumn, including Windyridge, Merry Garth, Nooroo and Yengo. While you’re there, stock up on those other autumn treats, walnuts and chesntuts. Go this weekend to catch the last of the pick-your-own season at Kookotonga. I was especially impressed by the nut collectors who came armed with long-handled barbecue tongs. If you don’t have a child to help pick the ripe nuts from the lush grass, this has to be the next best thing!
Photo: Robin Powell