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Celebrating blossom at Gibside

A blue tit perched in emerging apple blossom at Gibside
A blue tit perched in emerging apple blossom at Gibside | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

It’s a time for us to connect with nature and each other. Join the Festival of Blossom with Gibside and experience the power of blossom. 

The Festival of Blossom

Every year at springtime trees burst into bloom, offering a sense of hope and renewal. For centuries blossom has been celebrated in literature, art and music all around the world.

During the celebrations there will be deck chairs and a blanket bank in the Walled Garden, encouraging you to take a moment in nature and appreciate the signs of spring. Blossom at Gibside will also feature a variety of exciting events including:

Family pollinator trail Flutter and fly your way around Gibside on a scavenger hunt to find butterflies and moths. Saturday 27 April to Sunday 2 June, 10am to 4pm. Free, no booking required. Find out more.

Meet the beekeepers Meet our resident beekeepers at their pop-up stall to learn about the role of honeybees as pollinators. Saturday 27 April, Saturday 4 May, Saturday 11 May, Saturday 1 June, 11.30am to 2pm. Free, no booking required. Find out more.

Get creative with blossom Drop in to learn how to make blossom inspired origami art or write a haiku about what blossom and spring nature mean to you. Saturday 27 April, 12.30pm to 2pm. Free, no booking required. Find out more.

Live music from Shunyata Improvisation Group Experience an immersive improvised outdoor music performance inspired by blossom. Saturday 11 May, 1pm to 4pm. Free, no booking required. Find out more.

Shunyata Improvisation Group, workshop Try out or develop your musical improvisation skills with Shunyata, Saturday 11 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Tickets available to buy.

A volunteer showing young children a bee hive in the Walled Garden.
Meet the beekeepers event at Gibside | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Meet the beekeepers

Learn something new with a hands on demonstration about beekeeping.

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Ideas to inspire you

You don’t need to be the next David Attenborough to appreciate nature, everyone can get involved. Here are some ideas to enjoy blossom season here at Gibside or at home:

  • Wander the trails – take the route to relaxation and stroll around looking for buds in March, then return in April and May to witness the changing flora.
  • Express your artistic side - bring along your pencils, paints and sketch pads to create a blossom study in the Walled Garden.
  • Write it down - try nature journalling, describe your sensory experiences, write a poem or a story inspired by the season.
  • Capture a moment – snap a colourful pic or create a timelapse using a camera.
  • Needles and thread – you can enjoy nature even if the April showers come. Sew, knit or crochet blossom, observing the blooms from a window.
  • Take time for yourself – bathe under the blossom, stretch out on a yoga mat, have a moment of reflection or enjoy a family picnic.

Follow Gibside on Facebook for more ideas to try and share your blossom experiences with us by using #BlossomWatch. Don’t forget to make your post public, to inspire a community of blossom lovers.

Young child looking at a bunch of bright pink blossom.
Visitors admiring the blossom at Gibside | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Discover blossom at Gibside

As early as January, spring blossom can be seen at Gibside - from the tiny hazel catkin flower appearing at the end of winter, to the abundant apple blossoms that start appearing in late April. By May, the apple blossom is a spectrum of delicate pinks to vivid fuchsia, turning the orchard into a photo-worthy floral canopy and peaceful escape.

In the wider estate look closely for the crisp white buds of blackthorn around March and hawthorn in later spring, or admire the golden hues of the Norway maples by the Orangery in April.

In the Walled Garden, roam around the edges of the wall to see blossoming peach, nectarine, pear, plum and cherry trees throughout spring. An apricot tree climbs the east wall, blossoming early in February and March. A helping hand is needed for pollination, as there aren’t many bees around that early in the year. You may notice the gardeners using a clean paint brush to tickle each blossom, spreading pollen from one flower to the other.

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