In the Cherry Blossom's shade, there's no such thing as a stranger.' - Kobayashi Issa.
Celebrating The Beauty of Now is central to our latest collection, comprising Cashmere, Merino Wool and Cashmere Silk designs inspired by colours and textures found in nature. From the soft neutral hues of the Scottish countryside to the rich burnt orange of a Speyside sunset, we look to the beauty all around us to create unique, uplifting designs. We capture passing moments in our local landscape like a camera’s lens, recreating fleeting colours and textures in our effortless, enduring products. Our designers worked closely with our in-house colour lab to create the perfect shades for our Ombre Cashmere Silk Scarf, while our Mulberry Cashmere Cardigan draws colour inspiration from Highland flora.
We are not alone in appreciating the passing joy provided by our environment. The centuries-old Japanese tradition of Hanami celebrates the short-lived bloom of the Cherry Blossom tree. Hanami, which translates to 'flower viewing', dates back to when poets would gather beneath Cherry Blossom trees to draw inspiration from their elegance and delicacy. It's now a coming together of people and an appreciation of the beauty found in nature, where participants picnicking and holding parties under the lavish spectacle of Cherry Blossom petals truly honour The Beauty of Now.
In Japan, Cherry Blossom trees can bloom at any time between the end of March and early May, with the glorious blossom only lasting for a week or two. Parties celebrating this transient visual happen day and night, and similar celebrations now take place worldwide, including in Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, China and the USA. In Washington DC, a series of events form their National Cherry Blossom Festival, including virtual and in-person art exhibitions, parades and street festivals. This year, the event runs from March 20th until April 17th.
Back in the UK, Johnstons of Elgin nurtures its own Cherry Blossom story, as the grounds of our Elgin mill are home to a Tibetan Cherry Tree, not native to the UK, that blossoms beautifully in springtime. We believe the tree grew from seeds nestled in fibres shipped from China many years ago. We have a Pistachio tree in the same area, which we understand has a similar backstory. Both species are popular with visitors to the site who take part in our extensive mill tours.
Cherry Blossom trees are often considered an analogy for human life, reminding us to make the most of every moment. Perhaps the most poignant part of their life cycle is when the blossom falls, carpeting the ground with petals like a thick snowfall—a reminder that life is short and how important it is to celebrate The Beauty of Now.