Collingwood Ingram 1880-1981
Collingwood Ingram’s life spanned 100 years. He was brought up in privilege and benefited from family money all his life. He made full use of his good fortune, devoting much of his first forty years to the study of birds and the last sixty to the collection, breeding and growing of garden plants, especially Japanese cherries. In both ornithology and horticulture he was amongst the finest in the country. As well as loving the beauty of natural world, he also shot and hunted, a combination quite common in his time.
In his teens Collingwood Ingram kept diaries, illustrated with sketches.
As an adult he travelled widely and recorded his travels in journals and sketchbooks.
These legacies of his enjoyment of nature are at the core of this website.
"Wings over the Western Front"
In June 2014 Collingwood Ingram's WW1 diaries were published by
Day Books of Charlbury
From late 1916 until the end of the war in November 1918, Collingwood Ingram was a Compass Officer in the Royal Flying Corps. He was also at the height of his powers as an ornithologist and even the war did not dim his passion for birds. His diaries describe the devastation of the battlefields and also take us behind the lines, where ordinary life continued and birds sang. We see the birds and the countryside of NE France through his words and sketchbooks, He also applies the same descriptive powers to the early days of flight
and to the ever-present war.
"ultimately records the triumph
of nature over warfare"
see review in link below.
A fine biography
'Cherry Ingram -- The Englishman who saved Japan's Blossoms'
by Naoko Abe
Published by Chatto & Windus on 21 March 2019
(and in the USA by Knopf Doubleday as The Sakura Obsession)
The original Japanese version won the Nihon Essayist Club Award, a major non-fiction award.
Summaries of the chapters in English can be read on the author's website.
The book describes the place of flowering cherries in the history
and culture of Japan and Cherry Ingram's key role in the survival of the old village varieties,
including the rescue from extinction of the great white cherry Tai Haku
BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 18th - 22nd March 2019!
Being published now!
A Cherry Season in Japan - the Travel Journal of Collingwood Ingram
Collingwood Ingram's complete journal of his 1926 cherry 'pilgrimage' to Japan is being published in episodes in Shakkei, the Journal of the Japanese Garden Society. Collingwood's journal, edited, with commentary, by the Japanese cherry authority and landscape architect Professor Wybe Kuitert and the keeper of Collingwood Ingram's archive Ernie Pollard.
The journal is illustrated with many contemporary photographs taken by
Collingwood on his travels around Japan
Seisaku Funatsu, the eminent cherry enthusiast on the occasion of his meeting with Collingwood Ingram in Japan in 1926. Photograph by Collingwood.
Cherry Ingram: an Illustrated Life
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