With the construction of Riga Ferris Wheel, the part of Victory Park between Slokas Street and Raņķa Dam will come to life harmoniously, with the wheel rotating quietly and calmly, accompanied by birdsongs and children’s laughter. Also, there will be more trees and, consequently, more birds: according to the contract, the project implementers have the right to cut down three trees, replacing them in triple amount. Spring is the right time to decorate any landscape, so at the end of May, Riga will become five Sakura richer.
In order for the Ferris Wheel to delight the townspeople and attract guests, not only through the opportunity to see Riga from above, but also the beautiful surroundings all around, in Victory Park, near the wheel location, five new trees will be planted on Mārupīte bank that will enrich the scenery of the park and become a great contribution to making Riga greener. SIA “Rīgas meži” and the participants of the public discussion have decided – these should be Sakura.
Creating beauty is not only a choice, but also a duty
Planting new trees is not only a sustainable choice and a desire to make the city more beautiful, but also part of the agreement with the city council, which stipulates that project implementers have the right to cut down three trees, replacing them in triple amount. In order for the Ferris Wheel to be installed in the place provided for it, it is currently planned to replant two beeches and cut down one birch at Raņķa Dam. The project also envisages the creation of greenery in a place where it does not currently exist, and this must be done in accordance with the park planting concept by “Rīgas meži”.
Japanese feel in the heart of Riga
The rose-red Japanese cherries, of which Rigans love to take photos in spring and which earn a place in the news headlines every year, stand out with a particularly decorative appearance and resemble a bouquet of flowers rising above the ground. In 2012, confirming the friendly relations between Japan and Latvia, Japan presented the first 114 Sakura trees to Riga, which were planted in Victory Park in a solemn ceremony. Even today, the city regularly replenishes the park with Japanese cherry plantations, and the Sakura flowering period has been attracting a particularly large group of visitors to the park for years.
In Japan, cherry blossoms have a rich symbolic meaning. They symbolise the clouds, because when flowering the sky really seems to have descended to earth, while the transience, exquisite beauty and impermanence of the flowers are a metaphor for the transient nature of all things and symbolise the ability to accept any turn of life with gratitude and ease. In addition, Sakura is a symbol of the coming spring: In Japan, Sakura blooms everywhere, and according to tradition, when the trees bloom, the Japanese go for pleasant walks, dance, sing and hold tea ceremonies under the Sakura.
Flowering cherries often appear in Japanese art, manga, anime and cinema, and the floral motif is widespread in the design of all types of consumer goods – from traditional kimonos to quite modern stationery and dishes.
The beauty queens of flowering cherry trees
The new Sakura, which will complement the collection of trees already growing in Victory Park, will be Prunus sargentii Kwanzan, a common Sakura variety in Europe called the crème de la crème of cherry blossoms. They are especially beautiful all year round: in late spring the tree is adorned with pink flowers; the flowering leaves are characterised by a purple or bronze hue, in summer they become shiny and dark green, but in autumn they again acquire red, orange and bronze tones. In winter, passers-by are delighted by the decorative bark of the tree.
Not all Sakura are suitable for Latvia’s climatic conditions. The homeland of Sakura, Japan, is a long chain of islands from south to north; in the south Sakura blooms earlier, and they do not have to be strong enough to survive a harsh winter.
The new Sakura will bloom for the first time in a few years and will become another wonderful spot on the map of Riga, which can be admired by ascending to the heights of a Ferris Wheel.