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What could possibly be cheerier than spring blossom? After this past year’s epic cold, trees are bursting forth with flower all over Bath. I’ve nearly come to a sticky end in my car several times on Camden admiring the many Magnolias and cherry trees in full bloom!
There is something so nostalgic and reminiscent of gentler times seeing apple trees in full bloom and we are particularly lucky in Somerset to have so many orchards.
Planting flowering trees is not only good for the soul but it also benefits wildlife by encouraging butterfly and moth caterpillars, which in turn feeds the birds as well as giving bees nourishment when they pollinate the flowers. There is also the definite advantage of being provided with fruits, either edible or ornamental with some of the flowering trees.
If I had a garden large enough, my wish would be to fill my garden with blossom trees throughout as much of the year as possible and my list would include these trees:
I love them all and it’s hard to choose a particular one, but two favourites in Magnolia grandiflora for its evergreen leaves and beautiful creamy flowers and Soulangiana with amazing pinky creamy flowers on bare stems. As I have mentioned many times, the best place to see these is at the Botanical Gardens at Victoria Park, where they will simply take your breath away.
Cherry blossom reminds me every year that my birthday is imminent. Once that was a good thing, nowadays not so much. The fleeting pleasure they give and the shower of petals falling on your head as a breeze wafts them away is worth the long wait. I love the delicate prettiness of them and if I had to choose would always go for either Prunus ‘Shirotae’ and for the winter one of my absolute favourites is Prunus x shubhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ which not only flowers for months on end, it flowers on bare wood through the winter and is ideal for smaller gardens. A real winner.
Fruit Tree Blossom
Apple blossom is also incredibly pretty and if you are quick and have trees to spare, it’s nice to cut some twigs and let the flowers unfurl in the warmth of your house in a vase. I’m also very partial to Malus hupehensis, a later flowering crab-apple which extends the blossoming period into June. The fruits last into winter which makes it worth making space for. I recently planted several into a new garden to give it some autumn colour with it’s pretty fruits. There are many other crab-apples with very pretty pinky white flowers and if I had the space I would probably also choose