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After three poor blossom seasons, parts of the UK are again in bloom.What is Britain's best blossom and where is it to be found, asks the BBC's A Question of Nature series?

Blossom is the term given to a cluster of flowers that bloom on any plant - so people include magnolia, hawthorn and blackthorn as "blossoming" varieties.

But "blossom trees" tend to be associated with those from the fruiting "Most people think of cherry blossom because it's the most dense and has a lovely hue," says Ted Hobday, chief guide at the National Fruit Collections at Brogdale Farm, Kent, home to more than 4,000 varieties of fruit tree, some dating back to Roman times.

In Japan, cherry blossom symbolises clouds, and is a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.

The country is known for its annual cherry blossom festival Hanami, which has its roots in the 5th Century.

Wild cherry trees are known as Yama Zakura or mountain cherries, while a group of ornamental garden cultivars are known as Sato Zakura.

The most common in Japan is , thought of as the original Sato Zakura.

Many Japanese varieties have been imported to the UK over the years but native species remain popular too.

The Natural History Museum is in the third year of its national three-year cherry blossom survey.

Interim findings into where cherry trees grow in the UK show Japanese cherry trees are the second most frequently recorded after the wild cherry, with the trees' most popular setting in private gardens.

That isn't surprising, according to some of Britain's top gardeners.

"Blossom is the portent for the year," says Simon Tetlow, deputy head gardener at Tatton Park, Cheshire.