Wednesday, 9 May 2012

It's not always about flowers....

The wind has turned to the South.    It is damp and warm, well warmer than it has been 15C.
Walking the garden today I realised that I rarely write about the trees, that I have planted during my ten years at the farmhouse.
Do you remember Poppi and I planting the bareroot silver birch a few years ago.   Well, this is her tree.     I helped her dig the hole but left her to do the rest.    I remember her tiny hands struggling to keep everything under control.....it took her best part of an hour but she did it.....do you know it is the tallest birch in the garden :)      I am sure Poppi's blessing helped the tree on her way.
Silver birch are such dainty trees, and the hardiest of all broadleaves.    The trees affinity with water encourages the growth of many forms of fungi.
 I chose the Swamp Cypress for it's distinctive bark.    It lives happily in clay soils and enjoys the high water table the garden offers.
 One of my favourite non native trees is this beautiful Redwood.    I can remember buying this tree.  It was tiny and cost far more than I had intended to spend .     Another lover of heavy clay, I hoped it would do well and sure enough it has.    It stands at 3 metres now  and is planted well away from the house, as this one day will be a very large  tree.    I never tire of it....I am drawn to it like a magnet.
For me, a garden would not be complete without Beech.   I nip the top out each Spring and most stand at around 2 1/2 metres.    I love the fact they retain their leaves during the winter and they rustle on windy days.     Beech leaves are very sensitive to light and always twist their stalks to face the sun.
Oh joy, a butterfly, the Speckled Wood.      How delightful to see you ...........
I have missed working in the garden each day.....you see I was born to garden.
My parents and brother have been tracing our family tree.     Father's side shows a Horticulturist, and Mother's shows farm workers, hence my love of soil........
By chance yesterday I saw my neighbour, she keeps horses.
I think you know what's coming......I now have a lovely pile of manure behind the garage......it should be ready for the garden in a few months.     Happy days :)

27 comments:

  1. So lovely to see your beautiful trees and the birch that Poppi planted. Birch is a pioneer tree and signifies beginnings in Celtic lore so its perfect for her first tree!
    Trees are one of the main reasons I long for a bigger garden. First I will plant an elder, as is the herbalist's tradition, then anything else that takes my fancy. :)

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    1. Hi Lucinda,

      I am sure one day your dream will come true and you will have a larger garden. I have around a dozen wild elder in the garden but I did plant a few extra.......black lace is a particular favourite of mine.....elder are rampant here, I tend to leave them, but it is getting a little out of control, like most things in the garden :)

      You are right, perfect for Poppi. I did not know this, we chose the Silver Birch together.

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  2. Hi Cheryl, what a very welcome sight the butterfly is! It is much too wet here still for them but it is at least milder.

    I love trees, such solid and reliable friends to share the garden with! I'm so glad Poppi's tree is doing well.

    I'm sure that manure will be wonderful...do be careful Nella doesn't decide to take a little roll in it...;-)

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    1. Hi Jan,

      The butterfly was flying in the rain, but it was nice and warm.....in fact, it felt positively balmy :)
      I also saw a blue, but it was a little quick for me. Probably the holly blue, as they seem to be the first to arrive every year.......I have three holly trees which is their host plant in the Spring ( although you probably know that :)

      Oh Jan, believe me that manure is firmly behind a closed gate :) I have had too many previous experiences in that department........

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    2. I have both Holly and their other host plant ivy so see the Holly Blue in my garden too but have never managed a photo, they are too quick for me too :-)

      I am still smiling at your last sentence :-)

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  3. You have to love a woman who gets excited about a pile of manure! I loved the trees.

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    1. Ha! I know, it is a little sad, isn't it? I do worry about me sometimes :)

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  4. Hi Cheryl,

    Indeed the wind does appear to have changed direction - I can't see rain on our front windows and I didn't know it was raining at work either! Perhaps finally things will perk up a little.
    We were due rain all day today but it didn't start until well into the afternoon; so it's been a good day in general :)

    Nice to see the flutter - none here yet and we're the ones who've actually had sun for the past few days! :D I'm just hoping the cold, wet won't impact too heavily on their numbers later in the year.

    Just wish I had the room for so many trees; one day, maybe...

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    1. Hi Liz,

      I have been worried about the butterflies for a while. It was a bad year for them last year.
      I did see a holly blue today.....and late this afternoon an orange tip....so that is good, isn't it?

      One day, you will have a large garden. I do hope so. It is young people like you who give me faith in tomorrow:)
      I hope I am here long enough to see you grow with your dreams......

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  5. Lovely account of the trees in your garden, birch andbeechare firm favourites of mine too. Great to see the Speckled Wood visiting your garden.

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    1. Tku....they are the most beautiful of our native trees, how could we not but love them.

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  6. I love trees in the garden, as do the birds. Lucky you, having a neighbour with horses. When I was a child, there was a farm at the bottom of the road, and the farmer would deliver manure. I was too young to appreciate it then though.

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    1. Hi Crystal,

      Lucky indeed......I understand your comment. My father would walk the country lanes, behind the horses, to collect the droppings. Never understood when I was little, i do now :)

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  7. I think of trees as the great over seers of the garden. They are the spirit keepers. Your sweet Poppi will be there for many years beyond the blog... Your butterfly is a new one for me. Beautiful.

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    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes I agree. I love the bees and then the trees. They make such a statement in the garden, each one adding their own character.

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  8. My garden has tall beech hedges down both sides and I too love the fact that the golden brown leaves stay there all winter. I'm loving them rather less at the moment as they fall and land among the plants! On the other hand the beautiful new leaves are appearing here and there along the hedge - it always strikes me as odd that they come in patches, a few here and a few there until eventually they all join up.
    Like you I come from a long line of gardeners and ag labs:)

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    1. Hi Rowan,

      I love beech hedges and have a short run in the copse. Some of them are copper beech, which is beautiful.
      The leaves do come in patches, don't they.....I rather like that.....

      I was surprised when my mothers line revealed farm workers....but at last it became very clear why I cannot be inside for too long:0} Nice to have something in common.

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  9. I was a tree-lover long before I became a gardener, Cheryl. Your trees have done so well in such a short time. Yesterday I received 10 baby trees from the Arbor Foundation. They're only about a foot (1/3 M.) tall each, so it will be a very long time before they can provide any shade:) Perhaps one day my great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy them.

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    1. Hi Rose,

      What trees did you get ? A lovely thing to leave family Rose, far better than any inheritance. I personally would rather have a garden full of trees as a gift, than a pot of gold :0}

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  10. How wonderful to have a manure supply. Yes, you born to garden indeed:) Lovely trees and photos and your words transport me xoxox

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  11. Gosh that Redwood is beautiful! I always associate them with the pictures you see of the giant redwood - will it be a large tree in time? Good for Poppi making sure her tree was planted properly and cared for.
    You certainly were born to garden, but you also have such a flair for writing! I enjoy reading the sensitive, empathetic words that accompany your beautiful pictures.
    Dan
    -x-

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    1. HI Dan

      Yes the Redwood will he a giant.....but not in my time.
      It is away from the house, well away.
      I hope whoever chooses to live here next will keep it :)

      Tku for your kind words.

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  12. You're right - it's not always about flowers. Trees play such an important role, yet we sometimes overlook them in favour of a flashy flower which actually offers little other than a short burst of showiness. Where would we be without our lovely trees?

    You have left me suffering from manure-envy!

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    1. Oh so pleased to meet another compost sort of girl :

      Indeed, where would we be. I have loved trees for as long as I can remember. My Gramps had seven ancient oaks along the lane where he lived. They were megnificent. Sadly a few years ago they were all felled to make way for a new golf course :(

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  13. Dear Cheryl,
    Always the trees. We bought our house because of a pair of 100 year old Ash Trees that were side by side, in tree ways. The male was in our backyard the female in our neighbors. I have so many loving, happy memories of under and in our tree. Lighting struck and he died. I still mourn. We have lots of trees too even though we have a small garden. I grow trees inside! My soul tree is a Ficus. I tell her everything!
    I have trees I have grown from seed. I am waiting for the Medlar to sprout.....
    Love seeing the Speckled Wood. She is gorgeous. Glad the butterflies are coming out
    you have had a strange spring!
    Sherry

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    1. Dear Sherry,

      Ash are very beautiful. I have one in my front garden.
      It is always sad to lose a tree, any tree. I understand your sadness.....
      It would be so wonderful if the Medlar sprouts.

      It has been a very strange Spring.....it has left me feeling quite unsettled for some reason :}

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  14. lovely photos
    and yes I did get into trouble xxx

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