Papier Passions

Our Springtime Muse: Cherry Blossom

Why these pretty pink petals make our heart bloom.



As far as favourite flowers go, cherry blossom is our no.1 spring thing. Beautiful enough to stop you in your tracks, evocative of early memories of springtime and steeped in symbolism, it’s no wonder our love for these heavenly pink flowers just keeps on growing. And it’s fleeting beauty (the blossoms only last two weeks or so after full bloom) makes it all the more special. Here, we sum up five of the reasons we just can’t get enough and why it inspires our in-house creative team and collaborators.

alt textPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The look
It’s pretty impossible not to swoon at the first cherry blossom beginning to flower. A sea of soft petals in the palest pink hues, set against a clear blue sky, is a sight that never gets old. And when the flowers start to gently fall to the ground, the pavements – peppered in pink confetti – become more beautiful than they’ve ever been before.

The feel
Nothing beats that feeling when you realise that spring is coming, and the arrival of cherry blossom signals just that. It’s a farewell to long, dark winter days; a warm welcome to light nights, bright skies and new life. For us, the presence of those early buds on the trees stirs up so many memories: playing freely outside as a child, romantic strolls in the park, a moment of hope when you're having a rainy day.

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The history
Cherry blossoms, or sakura, have been widely celebrated in Japanese art and literature for centuries and long been thought of as a symbol of renewal and the ephemeral beauty of life. Our cover image for this article, Mount Fuji Seen Through Cherry Blossom, painted by the great artist Hokusai in 1834, being one of the most famous examples.

The flowers are celebrated every March at Hanami (which literally means “watching blossoms”) – the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. The ritual dates back more than a thousand years and involves families and friends gathering and picnicking in parks and public spaces beneath the blossoming trees.

The fact it’s edible
Indeed, cherry blossoms and their leaves are even good enough to eat. A popular ingredient in Japan, they can be added to everything from cakes and cookies to jams and cocktails. Brew yours in tea or pickle them in salt and ume vinegar to create a deliciously salty, floral garnish for fish. You can ground them down to make sakura salt too. Be aware that the leaves contain coumarin, which can be toxic in large doses, so they should be eaten in small quantities.

The way it looks on invitations
Spring marks the start of wedding season and freshly sprouted blossoms are ideal inspiration for wedding stationery designs. Fresh, feminine and evoking the beauty of new beginnings, these best-loved blooms make for the perfect announcement.

Want some cherry blossom of your own? Shop our collection of Cherry Blossom designs this way.

Cover image: Mount Fuji Seen Through Cherry Blossom by Hokusai