Celebrating Blossom in the East

Blossom in Orchard
Blossom in Orchard | Image © Rachel Hunt

Following the ancient Japanese tradition of Hanami, which literally translates to ‘flower viewing’, the conservation charity is encouraging everyone to take a moment to enjoy the fleeting beauty of UK blossom and the sense of wellbeing it can bring.

Using #BlossomWatch, the National Trust is asking people to share their blossom images on social media, with the hope that the joyful sight of blush-tinted blooms will lift spirits and help everyone to celebrate nature together.

Clouds of delicate pastel-coloured blossom can be enjoyed throughout spring, with fruit trees starting the season in March and April, apple, plum, pear and damson trees blooming with dainty white and pink flowers. The iconic rosé pink blossoms of cherry trees join in late April and closing the season with its creamy white flower is hawthorn, often known as the May-Tree.

The conservation charity will also continue its work to bring blossom back to landscapes across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, by planting four million blossoming trees, including several new traditional orchards, and circles of blossom trees in urban spaces. These tree plantings will help contribute to the charity’s commitment to plant and establish 20 million trees by 2030 to help tackle both the climate and nature crises.

Throughout spring, the Festival of Blossom will also take place at over 100 locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland with unique blossom-themed events and activities, including sessions with artists, picnics, games, and special blossom walks to encourage visitors to explore and enjoy blossom.
Here’s where to see some of the most spectacular National Trust displays of blossom near you:

Flatford

The countryside surrounding the hamlet of Flatford, which was made famous by artist John Constable, is a lovely mixture of woodland, hedgerow, and pasture. It means that come the spring, the landscape is ribboned with native trees and shrubs exploding into life with blossom. The tiny white blossom of blackthorn makes the countryside look like its blanketed in snow at the start of spring. Then in May we see the arrival of hawthorn. Did you know that hawthorn is a pagan symbol of fertility and has ancient associations with May Day?

Ickworth

From the formality of the Italianate Garden with its spring flowers and beautiful white magnolias to the wider parkland where you’ll discover cherry blossom along Geraldine’s and Erskine’s Walk. Lady Mary MacRae, the granddaughter of Ickworth’s creator, the 4th Marquess of Bristol, once remarked that walking through the blossomed trees in this Suffolk garden in spring was like “walking through lace”. You’ll also find a small selection of apple and pear trees blossoming in the historic orchard between April and early May, their exact peak of flowering will often depend on winter temperatures.
Melford Hall

Noted for its spectacular floral display within the garden of Melford Hall, is a Judas tree, which is also known as a love tree. These small trees with heart-shaped leaves have clusters of bright cerise pink blossom that open before or with the leaves and create a dazzling display of colour from late April, into May. As spring emerges, enjoy the new growth and colour of the season, which will also include the espaliered apple trees along the red brick walls that surround the garden.

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