I’ve been procrastinating about my tree following for this year. I knew I wanted to participate again, but I have found it really difficulr to settle on a tree to follow. I missed January altogether, and am only just scraping in to February’s slot.
I thought about following one of the trees in my garden, but they are all very young. I knew I needed to pick one that was close by, as I will inevitably get busy and I learnt the hard way that even the river valley is too much of a challenge when I am busy!
My first thought was to follow the tree at the bottom of our road, right near the beach.
I can’t remember what kind of tree it is, but it is surviving the very exposed position, the dangers of the council bank strimmer, and there are interesting things growing around the base. Plus following it would mean endless excuses to photograph the beach behind it! But it lacks character, somehow, and I like the trees I follow to have character.
My next thought was to pick something growing in the park behind our house. Some of you may remember the park from when I was following my hawthorn – the hawthorn leans over the fence towards it as if yearning to be free.
There are quite a lot of trees in the park, including a row of birches planted along one edge, with what seems to be a rather bare border underneath at present.
There is also the stand of willows, with a couple of birches thrown in, that grows in the corner right by our house. Scarily close to our house, in fact, and getting taller all the time. At some point I am going to have to try and persuade the park warden to have their height reduced, every storm seems to break off a few more branches.
The tree out on its own, to the left in the photograph above, is an ornamental cherry, and I decided that following a tree with such delightful blossom would be a lovely idea. Plus I can just about see this tree from our bedroom window. And then I noticed that the two cherries planted close to it were sporting some rather interesting decorations.
There aren’t any on the cherry tree nearest to our house, but the other two have several. Which made me curious.
I can’t imagine they are intended to hang quite like this, and I have so far failed to turn up any information about them on Kew’s website. But in peering closely at the somewhat ugly plastic “fruit” I got distracted by the lovely bark.
And then there is the collection of lichens growing on the trunks.
It was easy to pick which of the two cherry trees to follow too, as one has a very nice, quite conventional habit, while the other splits into three trunks quite low down, and sports some interesting damage too. Definitely ticking the “characterful” box.
So, I will be following the middle of the three ornamental cherry trees, and am already looking forward to seeing the blossom up close. There are lots of fat and healthy buds on the branches, and given that I used to wander round to the park to photograph my hawthorn from the other side, I know I can reasonably expect to keep up with the posts this year (famous last words!)
There is another little bonus to following this tree. The building you can see behind the trees is a little gymn, and every year the circular bed you can see between it and the trees is sown with wildflower seed by the people who do the “Cemaes in Bloom” competition. So that should make for some good insect life and lovely flowers once the blossom has faded. So here she is, my tree for 2016:
My thanks to Squirrel Basket for hosting this lovely meme – and I will try not to leave it until the last possible moment every month…