Did you know that the north east of England is home to the largest collection of Tai-Haku cherry trees in the world? More specifically, they're found at Alnwick Garden, located in the picturesque town of Alnwick, Northumberland, and now they are finally in blossom after harsh and unpredictable weather at the start of the year. The blossoming phase is brief to begin with, but now moreso due to the weather which means they will be on show for about a week.
Alnwick Garden's head gardener, Trevor Jones, says that "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. The Duchess of Northumberland added 50 double swinging seats in 2017 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 329 Cherry Tree Blossoms 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 cascade of snow and never are we happier than to keep this rare and delightful species, even for just a short while every year".
The Tai-haku was introduced to England in 1900 and was recognised years later in a Sussex garden by plant collector Captain Collingwood Ingram, after it had died out in Japan. "Cherry" Ingram was instrumental in re-introducing the tree to Japan and all of the Tai-haku trees in the world are descended from the cuttings made by Cherry Ingram.
Families have the opportunity 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.
Alnwick Garden is a registered charity and is owned by the Duchess of Northumberland.
An aerial view of Alnwick Garden reveals the cherry tree orchard, cascading fountain and various gardens.
The drone also captured Alnwick Garden's magical Treehouse restaurant (below), which is even more enchanting when the trees are leafy.
Images courtesy Alnwick Garden