As blossom starts to reappear to brighten up our new year, we are reminded that in an ever-changing world, nature will always be a source of comfort for many of us. Discover more about these beautiful blooms that you've noticed during #BlossomWatch and the benefits they bring.
In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing where you can see dazzling blossom displays near you, and how we're involving the community in the joys of the season.
In this article:
Blossom is one of the first signs that spring is well and truly on the way, and is a welcome sight of colour after the frosty winter months. From the pinker hues to the cloudy white, these delicate blossoms are a joyful sight and a reminder that warmer days are on their way.
Blossom is not only beautiful to look at, it also supports a variety of wildlife. Open your window and notice how the warm spring air fluffs up the petals on blossom trees, or take a moment on your daily walk or run to look out for birds that might be attracted to these trees down your street.
Blossoming trees in our care
We care for hundreds of trees that blossom in the spring, many of which are historical varieties. This includes the tree said to inspire Newton's theory of gravity and the orchard that Thomas Hardy loved to play in as a child.
In Japan, spring blossom is celebrated with the traditional custom of Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ and is an opportunity to take in the beauty of flowers.
Notice the calming effects of spring blossom
Spending time to dwell on nature can improve your wellbeing. Research shows that just 20 minutes could help to improve your mood. But only six per cent of adults and seven per cent of children take the time to celebrate seasonal events such as the first day of spring.
Take a different route on your daily exercise to see if you can spot blossom in your neighbourhood and embrace the turn of the season. Why not take a quick snap of a blossoming tree and send it to your loved ones to share the moment with others? Or you could join in with #BlossomWatch on social media to spread the joy of spring blossom.
For younger ones, as part of our '50 things to do before you’re 11¾', celebrating blossom could mean you watch a bird singing loudly in a tree (no. 44) or get up for the sunrise (no. 23) to use your daily walk to see how the golden hour lights up blossoming trees down your street in different ways.
Celebrate Hanami wherever you are and connect with nature to lift your spirits, even if it's just for a moment or so.
Podcast: A toast to blossom
In our special blossom podcast episode we chat to Andy Beer, author of Every Day Nature, and hear how the arrival of blossom is a date not to be missed on his nature calendar. This episode was recorded before coronavirus and originally published in March 2020.
A showcase of blossom for armchair viewing
Pink pearl rhododendron at Emmetts Garden, Kent
Tree in blossom at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
A magnolia tree in the gardens at Nymans, West Sussex
Blossom on tree at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
Daffodils growing under a flowering apple tree in Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
The garden in spring at Coleton Fishacre, South Devon
Magnolia tree in flower at Trelissick, Cornwall
" Orchards are the gauge of all the seasons – from bare branches springs new life in the spring, and with the help of pollinating insects, blossom becomes fruit over the summer, which we pick in the autumn and create food and drink, before the trees ‘power down’ for their winter ‘sleep’."
How you can help support nature
In recent years, we’ve seen how climate change can impact the health of habitats such as blossom. It’s now more important than ever to play our part, big or small, in keeping these homes as healthy havens for wildlife. You can play your part by making a promise for nature and making your garden a place for wildlife to thrive.
From simply letting the grass grow, helping to plant a tree, making seed balls for the birds or building a bug hotel, we’ve got loads of ideas to get you started.