National Trust launches #BlossomWatch, a new tradition to emulate Japan’s Hanami. Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ is an important event in the Japanese annual calendar, associated with the arrival of spring.
Although we are in difficult times, the National Trust is encouraging people to celebrate the spring season by enjoying blooming trees they can see, whether from their window, down the street on their daily exercise or in their garden.
#BlossomWatch, a new way to celebrate Spring
#BlossomWatch is a new way to engage people with nature. The initiative is part of the Trust’s “Everyone Needs Nature” campaign to help people of all ages to become more connected with everyday nature. The trust takes care of hundreds of blooming trees, many of which are historical varieties. This includes the tree said to inspire Newton’s theory of gravity and the orchard that Thomas Hardy loved to play in as a child.
The Trust said that blossom sweeping the country is one of nature’s key moments. It could help lift the spirits during these uncertain times and enable people to celebrate nature and history together. The Trust hopes to encourage people to engage with annual moments in nature’s calendar, something the majority of British people don’t currently do. Only 6% of adults and 7% of children celebrate natural events such as the first day of spring, solstice or harvest, according to the Trust’s recent research.
People who can see the blossoms are asked to share their pictures on social media via @nationaltrust on Instagram and Twitter, using #BlossomWatch and tagging their location. It allows everyone to enjoy this year’s blossom season. So, take a moment on your daily walk or run to enjoy the fleeting beauty of blossom and celebrate Hanami. Whenever you are, connect with nature to lift your spirits, even if it’s just for a moment or so.
Identifying trees in bloom
Apple trees bloom in March-April. They are short trees that grow in hedges and bushes on moist soil. They are recognizable by their white flowers with a touch of pink and their greyish-brown spotted bark and knotty shape. Local varieties of apple are chosen for the orchard to help preserve trees which have been cultivated in the Tamar Vallery for centuries.
Wild cherry trees are recognizable by their small white flowers that appear in April-May. They love sunlight and grow on fertile land, usually singly in hedgerows or on the edge of woods. Their bark is reddish-brown, marked with horizontal “scars”. Other varieties have small pink flowers.
Damson trees blossom with little white flowers in clusters. Flowers appear in early April. They form an umbrella-shaped cluster on short spurs. Damson trees need moist soil to grow. They are resistant to cold and strong winds.
Hawthorn trees are known as May-flower. They have pinkish-white flowers that attract songbirds. Hawthorn trees are often located in hedgerows, woodland edges and scrubland. Their wood is hard and very fine-grained. It is used to make cabinets, boxes and tool handles, as good firewood and charcoal.
Pear trees are recognizable by their white flowers and glossy leaves that appear in abundance in early spring. Blooming pear trees provide an abundance of shade with their thick and umbrella shaped canopy. Pear trees are fire-resistant trees that enjoy the sun.
Plum trees offer beautiful round white flowers in abundance. The colour of the flowers can vary, sometimes taking on purple hues. Plum trees bloom from January to March. They are hardy trees that thrive in different types of soil. In a good year, about half of the flowers are pollinated and become plums.