World’s biggest display of Great White Japanese cherry blossom
The Alnwick Garden’s a spectacular place at the best of times but at this time of year, it is truly extraordinary, with the world’s biggest collection of Tai Haku cherry trees in full blossom.
Normally flowering for about three weeks per year, the blossom is now on show for at best, a few days in the contemporary garden, the brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland.
Planted in 2008, this is the largest ornamental cherry orchard of its kind and contains 326 Prunus Tai Haku ( Great White Japanese cherry) trees.
In spring, they fill the air with cherry blossom which resembles snow as it falls.
Underplanted with 60,000 Alliums and wildflowers, it provides colour throughout the season with spectacular autumn foliage colours of bright yellow, red and orange.
Head gardener Trevor Jones said: “The Cherry Orchard means a lot to me, not for the number of trees or the blossom, but for the fact that I see myself as a ‘guardian of the trees’ and the memories attached to them by the sponsors, young and old, who have dedicated many of the orchard’s 300 Tai Haku trees to loved ones past and present.
“Compared to the rest of The Alnwick Garden, there is hardly any work involved in looking after them, apart from cutting the grass paths around the trees and cutting at the end of the season.
“This year, we added 50 double swinging seats to the orchard and they have been a wonderful addition. This is a place for adults, families, and children to gently swing and contemplate their surroundings, for the children to have fun and make and remember happy memories.
“We will not get three weeks of blossom from our beloved 300 Tai Haku trees this year, but we are very happy with what the weather and our trees give us.
“Every day, each gust of wind blows the blossom like a delicious cascade of snow and never are we happier than to keep this rare and delightful species, even for just a short while every year.”
If you would like to sponsor a plot, tree or rose, a swinging seat or dedicate a bench in The Alnwick Garden, whether in memory of a loved one or in celebration of a family event or person, contact susan.