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Gardens: Best places to see spring blossom




Few sights lift spirits like spring blossom. Velvet finds four of the best blossom spots in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

Blossom at Ickworth in spring, Suffolk, East of England (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Blossom at Ickworth in spring, Suffolk, East of England (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns

Lady Mary MacRae, granddaughter of Ickworth Park’s creator, the fourth Marquess of Bristol, once remarked that walking through the property’s gardens in spring was like “walking through lace”. From snow-white magnolia flowers in the formal Italianate Garden to candyfloss-pink cherry blossoms in the Albana Wood, visit the Bury St Edmunds National Trust site at this time of year and you’ll find springtime treasures at every turn.

Following the Japanese tradition of ‘hanami’ - viewing and celebrating blossom to honour the official start of spring - the Trust is encouraging everyone to take part in its annual #BlossomWatch from now through till the end of May. Using the hashtag to share pictures of your favourite blossom spots on social media, the aim is to fill our feeds with flowers.

Entrance to the Walled Garden and white cherry trees Prunus avium "Plena" in early May at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Entrance to the Walled Garden and white cherry trees Prunus avium "Plena" in early May at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns

Beginning with the blush-tinted blooms of apples and pears in late March, continuing with the sherbert-pink flowers of cherries through April and concluding with the creamy white froth of hawthorn in May, blossom season is already well underway - and Ickworth Park is just one of many local National Trust sites well worth a visit.

Bumblebee nectaring on pink cherry blossom (c) National Trust Images/Rob Coleman (55848317)
Bumblebee nectaring on pink cherry blossom (c) National Trust Images/Rob Coleman (55848317)

With 24 additional trees recently planted, the ornamental cherries in the grounds of the stately Anglesey Abbey in Lode are famously spectacular and, though it’s still young - it was planted in 2018 to encircle an 80-year-old Bramley - the Heritage Orchard sees plums, apples, pears and gages blooming, too.

Blackthorn at Wicken Fen (c) National Trust Images/Mike Selby
Blackthorn at Wicken Fen (c) National Trust Images/Mike Selby

Nature reserve Wicken Fen is home to endless metres of hedgerow which, planted with blackthorn, hawthorn, alder and buckthorn, are clouded with cream and white from March onwards. Plus, as part of the ongoing Wicken Fen Vision, a 100-year plan to create a diverse landscape for wildlife and people, 1,000 blossom trees were planted there over winter.

Espaliered fruit tree in flower in the Walled Garden at Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Espaliered fruit tree in flower in the Walled Garden at Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire (c) National Trust Images/Justin Minns

Containing more than 300 fruit trees, the orchard at Arrington’s Wimpole Estate puts on an unrivalled flower display: beginning with apricot, plum and greengage, blossom then appears on the apple and pear trees, with the show finally rounded off by medlar and quince in late spring.

For a full list of our local National Trust properties and more information about #BlossomWatch visit nationaltrust.org.uk.


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