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Faversham: Japanese blossom Hanami Festival at Brogdale 2018

By Angela Cole

There are more than 350 ornamental flowering cherry varieties growing at the National Fruit Collection in Brogdale.

The Faversham site and its 150 acres of orchards will be celebrating their blossom this weekend with the Hanami Festival, which originates in Japan and celebrates the start of spring with a day out under the cherry blossom (Sakura).

To mark the oriental festival, Brogdale holds a day-long festival of the blossom which encompasses all things Japanese along with the chance to picnic under the blossom.

You can picnic under the blossom at Brogdale this month
You can picnic under the blossom at Brogdale this month

This year's event, which was postponed from last weekend, includes the chance to take a blossom tour led by one of the expert guides, a traditional tea ceremony and see Laijutsu and Tameshigiri displays of Japanese sword martial arts and Japanese drumming (Taiko).

New for this year, restaurateur Mr Miyagi will be demonstrating and giving talks on sushi rolling, and teaching them how to make a range of sushi dishes, as well as selling Japanese food.

Hanami at Brogdale
Hanami at Brogdale

A Japanese calligrapher and artist will be demonstrating the ancient art, and visitors can have a go at the art of origami or try on a kimono. Kent Language School will be hosting activities and games based around the Japanese language and Kent Bonsai club who will be on hand to answer questions and show samples.

Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery will also be doing short talks and presentations on their Japanese art collection of woodblock prints, including iconic artists such as Hiroshige, Hokusai and Utamaro.

You can picnic under the blossom at Brogdale this month
You can picnic under the blossom at Brogdale this month


The Hanami Festival is at Brogdale on Saturday, April 21, while picnics run throughout the month.

Find Brogdale at Brogdale Road, Faversham, ME13 8XZ, call 01795 536250, email info@brogdalecollections.org or visit brogdalecollections.org

* You can also see blossom this weekend in Macey's Meadow in West Malling, where there will be guided walks, arts and crafts and a decorated hat or garland competition. Bring a picnic and enjoy the meadow on Saturday, April 21 between 1pm and 4pm.

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