Acres of these adorable flowers bloom from late April to mid-May.

By Andrea Beck
April 30, 2020
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Flower fields all across the world are in bloom right now, and though you can’t visit most of them due to COVID-19 social distancing and travel restrictions, there’s no shortage of breathtaking photos. One beautiful location we spotted is Hitachi Seaside Park, a flower and amusement park about an hour and a half north of Tokyo in Japan. Each year, in late April and early May, over 5 million light blue flowers burst into bloom in the park, creating a sea of tiny blossoms about the same shade as the sky. Though the park is closed right now because of the new coronavirus, the photos of the blooms are almost as jaw-dropping as seeing the fields in person.

Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi, Stringer/Getty Images

The flowers are a species of Nemophila, commonly called baby blue eyes (and it’s easy to see where they got their name!). Though they’re currently blanketing the grounds of Hitachi in Japan, this wildflower is actually native to North America. Grown as an annual, they’re especially popular for container gardens and as groundcovers, like in the park. Usually, they’ll only grow about 6 inches tall, and the flowers are a little over an inch wide when they bloom. In warm parts of the country, like the South, baby blue eyes tend to bloom in early spring, while in cooler, northern areas they flower in early or midsummer.

Specifically, the park plants the ‘Insignis Blue’ variety of Nemophila, sowing the seeds every November. Usually, when the flowers are in peak bloom, they also host the Nemophila Harmony festival in late April and early May to celebrate the millions of blue blossoms.

Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi, Stringer/Getty Images

Over eight acres of Nemophila covering Miharashi Hill might be the park's most well-known attraction, but there are millions of other blossoms there, too. Hitachi also has the most narcissus plants and varieties in Japan, with about 1 million daffodils blooming from late March to mid-April every year. Around 260,000 tulips also bloom in April, adding even more color to the already vibrant fields.

Starting in the summer and continuing into autumn, about 3,400 roses bloom in the park too, along with over 2 million cosmos, 350,000 zinnias, and 30,000 sunflowers. There’s still no shortage of color in the park once fall fully arrives. Hitachi has about 32,000 Kochia plants, and while their spiky leaves are green over the summer, once October arrives, they turn a deep scarlet red, making the hillsides look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Even in winter, 10,000 tulips flower in December and January.

Though a trip to the park to see the blooming baby blue eyes isn’t possible this year, it’s definitely one to add to your bucket list. Hitachi Seaside Park is famous throughout Japan, and it’s considered a flower paradise for visitors any time of the year. For now, enjoy the stunning photos, and maybe you could even create your own mini version of the Nemophila fields by planting them in your backyard!

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