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It is true, as they say, that the blossoms of spring are all the more precious because they bloom so briefly

Murasaki Shikibu

The hedgerows and trees explode into life with a flurry of growth, colour and movement. England at this time of year is simply beautiful as every bit of out green patchwork wakes up after the subdued winter.

Blossom seems to be everywhere, but it is worth looking a little closer as that way it is possible to see nature's guiding hand in these flashes of white, cream and pink. We tend to think that the blossom is a rather chaotic affair crammed into a few weeks of spring but there is much more going on than that, not least the timing of the blossom.

Hedgerow blossoms are often first to show with Blackthorn (Sloe) emerging as early as March with Damson and Bullace not far behind. These pale creams are normally over and done with before May Day by which time Cherry blossom with is delicate pinks is emerging. This, like the plum-based blossoms, is fleeting and barley lasts ten days. Then come the much bolder colours of Apple blossom, dominating early to mid May and bringing a brighter and more determined hue to our orchard.

Others come even later, a good example being Elderflower - once seen, never forgotten and once smelled always remembered. Elderflower seems to be everywhere in June and is the precursor to the tiny elderberries that pack a deep red and flavoursome punch.

Nature has found a way to give each of the fruits a chance of pollination and give the bees a long season of foraging opportunities.

Our hedgerows are alive in Spring, but there is method in this floral madness.

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