Skip to content

In The Orchards Of Kent

April 30, 2024
by the gentle author



When the green shoots are sprouting and the leaves unfurling, who can resist an excursion to view the cherry blossom at the National Collection of Fruit Trees at Brogdale in Kent? This is the largest collection of fruit in the world – as the guides proudly remind you – with two hundred and eighty-five types of cherry among over two thousand varieties of fruit, including apples, pears, plums, currants, quinces and medlars.

As if this were not remarkable enough, I was informed that this particular corner of Kent – at the edge of Faversham – offers the very best conditions in the world for growing cherries. They may have originated in the forests of Central Asia, travelling east and west along the Silk Road before they were introduced by order of Henry VIII nearby at Sittingbourne, but here – I was assured – they have found their ultimate home.

The constitution of the soil in Kent is ideal for cherries and the temperate climate, in which the tender saplings are sheltered from the wind by long hedges of hornbeam, produces a delicacy of flavour in the ripe fruit which cannot by matched by the climactic extremes of the Mediterranean.

It was with these thoughts in mind that I advanced up the track, lined with decorative blossom in those livid pink tones so beloved of mid-twentieth century town planners, before turning the corner of a long hedge to confront the orchard of cherries. There are two specimens of each variety regimented in lines that stretch into the distance. The cherry trees are upon parade, awaiting your inspection and eager to display their flamboyant regalia.

You may also like to take a look at

Blossom Time In The East End

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Liz Aitken permalink
    April 30, 2024

    These are just lovely! Brightens my day!

  2. Wendy permalink
    April 30, 2024

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your photos. I grew up in Kent, surrounded in orchards many of which have now gone. Some of the trees survive on what is now public land which is great for foraging.

  3. Juliet Wrightson permalink
    April 30, 2024

    How extraordinary and fascinating- Thank you

  4. Christine permalink
    April 30, 2024

    Such beautiful colours! Like snow falling when a gentle breeze x

  5. April 30, 2024

    Oh. My. I have an irrational urge to hug these beautiful, lavish trees — quite literally, snuggle next to their trunks, and slip my arms around them. If my cranky knees would allow, I would take the colorful old blanket out of the trunk of my car, spread it out, and stretch out underneath these
    overhanging boughs, and just stare up into the bales of blossoms. I will satisfy myself with looking at a much-more-modest array of white blossoming trees here on our land in the Hudson River Valley — although their white blooms are mere dots amongst acres of green. But — hey — after a long winter, “acres of green” is nothing to complain about.

    Thank you for furnishing optimism — every day.

  6. April 30, 2024

    Such wonderful blossom and in such a lovely part of England.

  7. Marcia Howard permalink
    April 30, 2024

    A beautiful sight. The blossom has been particularly good this year, so no doubt it’ll be a good harvest. I love Cherries but supermarket ones taste very mediocre. I wouldn’t mind going up and down those paths when the cherries are ripening. I’d be very pleased to offer my ‘taste buds’ for the purpose of quality control!

  8. May 1, 2024

    Having just returned from Japan and, among many other delights, the Hirosaki Sakura festival, I’m glad I only need to venture to Kent next year 🌸

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS