Cherry blossom, don’t you just love how it bursts forth at the end of winter, piercing the grey skies in defiance with their lush pink or white bunches of blossom. I have a lovely pink one in my front garden, but Sophie doesn’t, so when Spring comes, we go off on a blossom hunt. This year Sophie found out that Alnwick gardens have an orchard of over 300 Tai Haku cherry blossom trees, the biggest in the world apparently.
The story of the Tai Haku is lovely. Back in the day, a chap called Captain Collingwood Ingram, was obsessed with cherry blossom trees, and learned so much about them that in 1926 he was invited to give a talk to members of the Japanese Cherry Society, where he was shown a painting of a superb cherry with huge white flowers, which, he was told, was sadly extinct. But Ingram wasn’t an expert for nothing, he recognised the tree in the painting as being the same as a tree he had seen in a Sussex garden. As the tree was on it’s last legs, he hot footed it over there, took several cuttings from it, and today all Tai Haku trees in the world are descended from those cuttings. He re-introduced it to Japan in 1932.
The Duchess of Northumberland (who owns and developed the gardens as well as Alnwick Castle – Hogwarts to my American pals 🙂 )has added 50 double seated swing seats to the orchard, and it’s just fabulous. When we got there a carpet of daffodils covered the grass under the trees. SO many photographs, hard to choose, but here are some of my favourites of the day
Of course there’s much more to Alnwick gardens, the orchard is just a small bit of it, so stay tooned for the rest of our day there.
All pictures can be clicked on to get the embiggened and embettered experience 🤪