Thursday, 28 December 2006

I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.

When I made sketches for the layout of the garden, I noted down a list of the different kinds of trees we would like to have. Since it was to be a wildlife garden these were to be indigenous species mainly, ones which would provide good nesting sites, be able to host a multitude of insects and have berries or seeds for winter food. We also wanted to be able to see through the trees to the countryside beyond, and not be hemmed in by them.

As a result, we have many species of birch trees around the perimeter. We love the tracery of the foliage, the dancing movement of the leaves in the breeze, the catkins in the Spring, and the fact that they support a huge variety of insects for the birds. The Jacquemontii stands out with its amazing white papery bark, which it self-peels each Autumn. We also have a few pendulum birches which are beautiful to admire in all seasons.

Rowans have always been a great favourite of ours and this garden is no exception. We have a Joseph's Rock, which, as well as having yellow berries in Autumn, turns a magnificent shade of red before it sheds its leaves. There are many native rowans also, which have a profusion of red berries, and a Cashmiriana which has white berries. In one bed, we also have one called Chinese Lace, which has particularly beautiful foliage.

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