UK promised ‘incredible’ show of spring blossom despite snow

March’s cold temperatures and the driest February in 30 years have caused difficult conditions for flowering trees and hedgerows, ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports

Cold snaps, wind, and snow have delayed spring blossom across most of the the country, but the UK should expect a “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.

A bumblebee feeding on nectar on pink cherry blossom at Sheringham Park in Norfolk Credit: Rob Coleman/National Trust/PA

“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.

Daffodils and grape hyacinths growing under a cherry tree in the garden of Blickling Estate, Norfolk Credit: Justin Minns/National Trust/PA

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.”

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.

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