Incredible blossom show coming this April

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY MARCH 20 Undated handout photo issued by the National Trust of the National Trust’s Polly Caines admiring admiring the magnolia sargentiana at Glendurgan Gardens near Falmouth in Cornwall. The National Trust have said cold weather, wind, and snow have delayed spring blossoms across the UK. Recent cold snaps, alongside the driest February in thirty years have made an impact on flowering trees and hedgerows, leaving many blooms “on pause.” Issue date: Monday March 20, 2023. (PA Media)

Cold snaps, wind, and snow have delayed spring blossom across most of the the UK but there should be “truly incredible show” next month, the National Trust has said.

March’s cold temperatures and the driest February in 30 years have caused difficult conditions for flowering trees and hedgerows across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the charity said.

But launching its annual blossom campaign, it said a milder and wetter April would counteract the earlier dry weather and the snow would not affect the beauty of the blossom once trees were in full flower.

Andy Jasper, head of gardens and parklands at the trust, said: “While we had a mild winter overall, the recent cold snaps have affected how quickly nature progresses, and we can see the effects of this across many of our gardens with blooms delayed.

“We are still in line for a truly incredible show where the delayed blossom will burst forth in waves across the country like an amazing Mexican floral wave – marking the reassuring moment that spring has arrived.

“I hope that when temperatures start rising again, the National Trust’s blossom campaign will play a part in encouraging everyone to take 10 minutes to step outside and to really stop and look at the new life bustling all around us, as it greatly enriches all of our lives.”

But despite many blooms being on “pause”, gardens in the south-west are bucking the trend and remain a haven for early blossom, and those on Cornwall especially have been largely unaffected, the National Trust said.

At Glendurgan Gardens near Falmouth in Cornwall, the magnolias are in full bloom, putting on a spectacular show as some species have bloomed later than usual while others have been early, condensing their blossom into one big simultaneous flowering this year.

Tom Cutter, assistant head gardener for the National Trust at Glendurgan, said: “Thankfully, due to Cornwall’s unique microclimate, we haven’t been hit as badly by the recent cold snap and snow as the rest of the country has been and, as a result, our visitors get to enjoy an utterly beautiful display of magnolias in our garden right now.”

But there have been some cases of weather damage in Cornwall, including at Trengwainton Garden, near Penzance, which is known for its 50 varieties of gigantic magnolias.

Recent strong winds caused damage to one of its largest trees, Magnolia campbellii, in the walled garden which is 102 years old, causing many of the delicate petals to drop prematurely.

The National Trust’s blossom campaign – now in its third year – encourages people to explore the blossom, and share pictures on social media with the tag #Blossomwatch.

Blossom watch is part of a long-term campaign to return blossoming trees to the UK landscape, and create an equivalent of Japan’s “hanami”, where people of all generations gather to enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring.

Throughout spring, the Trust’s Festival of Blossom will take place at over 100 locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with blossom-themed events such as picnics, games and walks to encourage visitors to explore and enjoy the blossoms.