• "Sympathetic and engrossing... a portrait of great charm and sophistication, rich in its natural and historical range, guaranteeing that you won’t look at cherry blossoms the same way again"

  • "A remarkable bookexcellent...fascinating, a treat for gardeners, cherry-growers and historians"

    Financial Times
  • "[A] deeply moving book -- beautifully written, and a huge achievement in terms of research"

    The Spectator
  • "Set against the narrative arc of Japanese history, journalist Naoko Abe's account of the man behind the preservation of her country's national symbol is both sympathetic and compelling... On reading this book, beautifully illustrated with atmospheric period shots and colour plates, you may well determine, as I have, to visit Japan at cherry blossom time"

    Vanessa Berridge, Sunday Express
  • "[A] lovely book… Two tensions animate this book: the difficulty of sending fragile scions around the world and successfully grafting them; and the wrenching historical context… It is hard to view the blossoms of the somei-yashino with such tender joy after reading Ms Abe’s book"