Painting The Alnwick Garden’s Famous Taihaku Cherry Blossom

Painting The Alnwick Garden’s Famous Taihaku Cherry Blossom

Posted by Joanne Wishart on

Painting The Alnwick Garden’s Famous Taihaku Cherry Blossom 

I write a lot about my love of wildflowers, as well as the native flora and fauna of the Northeast. But our region is also lucky enough to have several curated gardens, which is the perfect opportunity to see non-native plant species. 

The Alnwick Garden is one of the largest formal gardens in the area, and it is home to both indigenous and exotic blooms. A visit to Alnwick Garden inspired one of my original paintings, which was recently sold to a lovely collector and can also be bought as a fine art print on paper, stretched canvas, or greeting card.


Limited Edition Print Alnwick Cherry Blossom


The magical Taihaku at The Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden is actually home to the largest collection of Taihaku Cherry Blossoms. With over 300 trees, the orchard all blooms together at the end of April/start of May for just a couple of weeks! So, now is the ideal time to experience this stunning phenomenon.

The Taihaku Cherry Blossom earns its Japanese, the ‘Great White,’ for its snow-like clusters of blooms.

Spring isn’t the only time to appreciate these trees’ beauty. During the autumnal months, the leaves transition to a coppery orange. A really interesting fact about the Taihaku variant is that they actually became extinct in Japan, but a single tree was found in a garden in Sussex in 1923 - and this is now the parent of all Taihaku trees worldwide!

Painting the cherry blossom

When it came to capturing these trees and their gorgeous blooms, it was a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Since the Taihaku is only in bloom for a few weeks a year, I made it my mission last year to finally paint these beauties. 

In order to depict these trees in full bloom, I used a textured technique that shows the different dimensions of the blossom from both close up and far away. There’s always something new to observe in this painting, whether that’s billowing wild grass or the darkening trunks as the trees move back to the horizon. 

I really enjoyed working on this painting, as blossom is not an easy one to capture in its true light. The delicate petals of the tiny uniform flowers are so detailed, and there are so many of them! Add that to the limited time window, and you’ve got quite the challenge on your hands. I think I did the Taihaku justice - what do you think? 

Other places to see cherry blossom in the North East

Grangetown Cemetery in Sunderland

This 200-year-old site is known for its stunning cherry blossom trees - check out the blooms in these photos snapped by the Newcastle Chronicle.

South Marine Park, South Shields

Another beautiful public park that’s home to several gorgeous trees.

Saltwell Park, Gateshead

A family favourite, you can spot more than just blooming blossoms at this squirrel haven! 

You can pick up the limited edition prints and greeting cards on my website or visit the gallery on St George’s Road, Cullercoats. We’re open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. I’d love to know if there are any other spots you can visit to experience the cherry blossoms in the Northeast. Tell me your favourites on Instagram @Joanne.Wishart.Art.

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