Blossom for the National Trust
Location: Birmingham, UK
Client: National Trust
Timescale: May - August 2022
Size: 0.1 Ha
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Blossom is a project that ran for the summer of 2022 as part of the Birmingham Festival and Commonwealth Games. 70 young trees were temporarily installed at the Smithfield Festival site within special planters that provided visitors with opportunities to relax and play while surrounded by nature in the city environment. We collaborated with Studio 8FOLD, as part of a celebration of blossom in Birmingham, on behalf of the National Trust.

The project makes use of 44 planters and retrofits them to include playful elements, such as hammocks and badminton nets. It was set-up so that all the constituent parts from the installation could find a life after six months of placements were complete. Homes have been found for all planters, ranging from schools who will use the planters as high beds for productive landscapes (vegetable growing), councils to use as seating in areas that lack the infrastructure for pause, and along streets and parks where they can be enjoyed.

The apple, cherry and plum trees occupied a hard landscaped environment with no existing seating and areas for rest, and was enjoyed by old and young alike. Public feedback included multiple calls to make the installation permanent, which will hopefully influence further development of the area to allow for such change.

With support from funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, trees from the installation, along with a further 500, will be planted around the city in the winter of 2022 to increase the number of blossoming trees in urban places and create a symbolic ‘ring of blossom’ around Birmingham.

Tate+Co is thankful to the Blossom team for such a successful project: Studio 8FOLD (Project Designer), Creative Outdoor Spaces (Fabricators), Simple Works (Structural Engineers), Adams Habermehl (Landscape Architects) and of course the National Trust themselves (Clients).

Photography: Luke O’Donovan, Kilian O’Sullivan.

Tate+Co and their team worked tirelessly over the Summer of 2023 to design and deliver the Blossom project with us. Their execution was flawless and they were integral to the success of the project.”

Lucy Reid, Assistant Director, National Trust