Right now, up and down our fair land, you can see the pink swells of blossom buds amongst the emerging foliage of the apple trees. Not quite open, but ready to burst and this is how I like them most. They are anticipation, unopened and neat like a well wrapped gift under the Christmas tree, ready and waiting for the right time. There is a my sense of excitement in the coming crop. As soon as they're open, something is lost, no matter how beautiful they are. You could compare it to waiting for sunrise, as soon as its up, its over and time to move on. Or burlesque, there is something of a tease about the fact you can't quite see what you came for, which I really enjoy.
Last year, the lovely Kate Merry organised a Full Bloom celebration at Cotehele Monor in Cornwall where I managed to photograph a selection of images based on this stage. Its really lovely Elizabethan granite manor house with a fantastic old orchard, all now owned and run by the National Trust. They have a mother orchard there, where people can go to collect grafts of specific local varieties to grow for themselves. Itself a great idea.
I was invited to document the day, and I'm not one to miss an opportunity like that. On arrival, we discovered everyone was a bit disappointed by the fact the season was a few days just behind the calendar in terms of the blossom not being open ready and in time for visitors. I however loved it. Visually speaking, its a treat to see so many varieties at this stage where they look more unique than when they are open, the markings on the outside/back of each petals is where the variety gives itself away. Photographically speaking, its less obvious than your normal blossom shots, which is always a good idea when your trying to stimulate people visually. This was the last time I borrowed my dentist-brother-in-law's 100mm macro lens (thanks Tim!), I decided to buy one the following week and use alot now.
Anyway - here they are.