A BATCH of new trees were planted at the Wee County's Japanese Gardens last week as part of an ongoing season of culture.

Last Friday, local MP Luke Graham and Consul General Nozomu Takaoka jointly planted new cherry blossom trees at the gardens.

Cherry blossom trees play an important symbolic part in Japanese culture, and consequently is an important new addition to the Japanese Gardens.

The visit was organised as part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture, and the guests were joined by students from Edinburgh University to celebrate the close cultural ties to the garden.

During the last couple of years the gardens have been restored to their former glory after a spate of vandalism in the 1960s, with the team have worked tirelessly to bring it back from the brink and restore it to its former glory.

Commenting after the visit, the MP said: "The work that has been put in to bringing this garden back and restoring it to its former glory is quite an achievement. I have been lucky enough to see it in its earlier stages and to see it now is remarkable.

"These cherry blossom trees will act as a symbol of the close ties this garden and its history has with Japan. Cherry blossoms are richly symbolic and have been utilized often in Japanese art. They are celebrated throughout Japan each year.

"It is great to have them planted here in Clackmannanshire to help develop this local site with an international draw."