Spain Culture and sports minister Miquel Iceta about ‘Cherry’ Ingram

Spanish minister

★August  2021 Spain’s newly appointed culture and sports minister, Miquel Iceta, calls the ‘Cherry’ Ingram book (the Spanish edition)  ‘a story of great sensitivity ‘ and  ‘a book he liked very much for those who want to delve into it this summer’. to read the article, click

BBC2’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ and Spanish Edition

Screenshot 20210519 093649 BBC iPlayer

★May  2021 Naoko appeared on BBC2’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ on 18 May. Naoko showed the programme host, Michael Portillo, the former home of Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram in Benenden, Kent. She told Michael the achievements of Ingram and how he returend the ‘Taihaku’ variety to Japan in 1932 from his garden.  •The Spanish edition is out.  

America’s NPR Interview and The Grange in Benenden Zoom Talk

cherry blossom resized

★April  2021 •Naoko was interviewed by America’s NPR (National Public Radio) , which was aired on 5 April in their popular ‘All Things Considered’ program.  In the interview, Naoko talked about the influence of climate change on cherry blossoms.   In Kyoto this year, cherry trees bloomed at their earliest in 1,200 years and it was said that this was the result of global warming. But it’s not that simple. Global warming will delay the blooming of the blossoms in the long term, and this is already happpening in southern Japan.   click here to listen •On 7 April 2021, Naoko gave a zoom talk for a sold-out fundraising event organized by The Grange in …

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Taihaku returns to Funatsu family.


After 95 years, a Taihaku cherry tree which is the offspring of a cherry tree at ‘Cherry’ Ingram’s garden in Kent, has been planted in the Tokyo garden of the great grandson of Japan’s most renowned cherry expert, Seisaku  Funatsu.   Collingwood Ingram had met Funatsu in 1926 and vowed to return the Taihaku tree to Japan, where it was extinct. Funatsu died before the tree was returned in 1932 to Kyoto. So Keiichi Higuchi, a cherry researcher and friend of the Funatsu family, has now planted an offspring of the Kyoto tree in the garden of Funatsu’s great grandson. Finally, the Funatsu family can enjoy Japan‘s great white cherry.  …

Taihaku returns to Funatsu family. Read More »

‘Sakura Quilt’ from Hawaii inspired by ‘The Sakura Obsession’


This beautiful ‘Sakura Quilt’ just arrived from Naoko’s friend in the U.S.  She said that her friend in Hawaii was inspired by Naoko’s book, ‘The Sakura Obsession,’ to make this. She created a kimono-shaped quilt from pieces of textile that she had bought in Japan which contained images of cherry blossoms. It’s an absolutely lovely piece of art !

★October 2020 

American paperback cover

‘THE SAKURA OBSESSION’ , the American version of ‘Cherry’ Ingram, The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms, has been given the CBHL’s ‘Award of Excellence in History’ as part of its 2020 annual literature awards.  The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) is an international  professional organization in the field of botanical and horticultural information services. The literature award is given to the author and publisher of a work that makes ‘a significant contribution to the literature of botany or horticulture’. —-Other awards and citations given to the ‘Cherry’ Ingram (The Sakura Obsession) book —  The Nihon Essayist Club Award  2016  (for the original Japanese version) BBC Radio4: ‘Book of the Week’, …

★October 2020  Read More »

★June 2020

Naokos talk

Naoko Abe will be giving a Zoom talk about ‘Cherry’ Ingram on Saturday 13 June 2020 at 4pm (London time).  The talk is part of the Alde Valley Spring Festival in Suffolk, UK. It is free of charge but please sign up by emailing :

Cherry planting ceremony at the Earl of Cranbrook’s estate in Great Glemham

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Naoko participated in a cherry planting ceremony at the Earl of Cranbrook’s estate in Great Glemham, Suffolk The cherry planting ceremony was held at the White House Farm, the residence of Jason Gathorne-Hardy, eldest son of the 5th Earl of Cranbrook, on 6 March 2020. The 1st Earl of Cranbrook built The Grange, the former home of  Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram, in Benenden, Kent, in the late 19th century.  Ingram was fascinated by the two mature cherry trees in the garden, which ignited his passion for cherry blossoms. He later named the trees ‘Hokusai’ after the famous Japanese wood print artist. Jason Gathorne-Hardy, who had already planted 50 cherry trees in …

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★March 2020

Kew Cover

Naoko’s article ‘A BLOSSOMING OBSESSION’ was published in the Kew Magazine’s spring 2020 edition. It explores the history of Kew Gardens’ cherry trees and reveals the 60-year relationship that Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram had with the Gardens.  click here to read the article      The Dutch edition of ‘Cherry’ Ingram ‘SAKURA’, was published in March 2020 by Thomas Rap. ‘Sakura’ was in the Netherland’s top 10 best-seller list for several weeks in the spring. It became a “sales success” after a “substantial 5-star review in NRC Handelsblad,” the nation’s newspaper of record, according to de Volkskrant. ★The Italian edition of ‘Cherry’ Ingram, ‘PASSIONE SAKURA’, was published in March 2020 by Bollati Boringhieri. …

★March 2020 Read More »

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