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8 places to go blossom bathing this weekend

As these candy-crush stunners sweep into life through our shires we've found the best places to see blossom around the county.

Ah, blossom – makes you feel good, doesn’t it? Spring is springing and all is right with the world! In Japan, cherry blossom is so revered as a symbol of renewal and regeneration, they have a name for going to see it – hanami (‘flower viewing’).

The good ol’ National Trust have picked up the flower-baton and have declared this Saturday 23 April #BlossomWatch day encouraging us all to get off the sofa, get out and enjoy Nature’s spring fireworks and to share it on our feeds using the hashtag #Blossomwatch.

Not sure where to go? Here’s some of the best places to go blossom-bathing this weekend:

Buckland Abbey, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton

Head to the 700-year old home of Sir Frances Drake and the Cider House for the wild area and kitchen garden. Things to spot en route include sheep – of the wire and real kind – herons, magnolias and covetable trained fruit trees and wisteria on the house walls.

Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton

The Grade II listed Lutyens gardens at this, the last castle to be built in England, are always worth a gander, with their formal terraces and views over Dartmoor. Don’t miss the Bunty House if you’ve got littlies with you, it’s every child’s dream of a Wendy house. It’s pooch-friendly, with designated routes for the dog-walkers.

Embercombe, Higher Ashton, Teign Valley

The 50-acre rewilding estate are inviting people to join them with a picnic in their blossoming orchards and medicine garden for #blossomwatch on Saturday 23 April. They’re providing the hot drinks and caaaaake!

Marwood Hill Gardens, Barnstaple

Pic credit: Marwood Hill Gardens

The words ‘bog garden’ may not inspire but hey, it’s here the springtime magic happens at this 20-acre valley garden, as it blooms with a rainbow of floral treasures. Marwood hold numerous national collections, including heritage collections of spring beauties, including camellia, magnolia, rhodos and cornus. Well worth a wander at this time of year. Open daily from Fri 1 April, £9.50pp, under 12s free.

RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington

Pic credit: RHS Rosemoor

Gardening perfection, what else would you expect from the Royal Hoerticultural Society’s south west outpost? Here has numerous gardens in different styles to see, including Mediterranean, Exotic, Potager, Fruit & Veg, but right now the place to be is The Cherry Garden, a riot of pink and white blossom, perfect for a spot of ‘Hanami’, the Japanese name for flower viewing. Open daily £12.95pp.

Killerton House, nr Exeter

Pic credit: National Trust

This National Trust lovely has loads to see in spring, with over 100 rhodos, magnolias and awesome views out over the rolling Devon countryside. Muddy has spent many a happy hour here with both older rellies who enjoy the easy-to-manoeuvre flat paths and the Mudlets who love hiding among the trees. Don’t miss the quirky thatched 19th century Bear’s Hut (pictured) at the end of the lawn which once housed a poor bear called Tom, brought to Killerton by the 12th Baronet’s brother from Canada. 

Greenway, Galmpton

Greenway, Galmpton

As with most National Trust properties that were once someone’s home, half the fun is imagining you lived here and Agatha Christie’s former holiday home would do nicely, thank you. Get your blossom fix from the hawthorn in the woodland walks and the walled garden, and restored Peach House, one of the longest in Devon coming in at 120ft long where peaches, apricots and nectarines are in bloom. It’s timed entry and you need to book and it’s worth having a think about how you get there, as instead of the car, it’s much more fun, and spectacular, arriving by boat or ferry.

Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear

Blending formal terraces with woodland walks with astonishing sea views, the former Arts & Crafts home of the D’Oyly Carte family is wonderfully exotic with palms and canna lilies. The Seemly Terrace is blossom-tactic now with its canopy of Japanese cherry blossom, perfect for a spot of hanami.

Want more green-fingered inspo? Get planet-friendly gardening tips from BBC Gardener’s World presenter and garden designer, Arit Anderson.

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