A wider shot of the oak in context on the edge of a buttercup meadow might leave you unsure which tree has made my favourites list. Continue reading “A Favourite Oak Tree”
For anyone who needs a translation of ‘cast ne’er a clout ere May is out’, I’m offering, ‘don’t stop wearing warm layers of clothing before the hawthorn has bloomed’.
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna, a UK native) is one of the first deciduous trees to leaf in spring. Its small, leathery leaves are lobed, rather like tiny oak leaves. Continue reading “Hawthorn Flowers: Cast Ne’er a Clout Ere May is Out”
When I happened upon Salix branches strung with yellow catkins, they made me think that bright is relative: on a dull late afternoon, they seemed like tiny candles.
I believe these are either Goat willow (Salix caprea) or Grey willow (Salix cinerea). It’s not easy to tell them apart at this stage while the stems are bare of leaves. Goat willows have broad, round leaves with bent, pointed tips; Grey willows have oval leaves with blunt ends. Continue reading “April Brights: Male Catkins”
In the world of home decor, magnolia is a best-selling colour that outlasts every new craze because it is so easy to live with, but its biggest fan would not call it exciting. On the inside of the loose, cup shaped flowers held on a magnolia tree, the sheeny colour has all the allure you could hope for, especially when backed with pink, as here. Continue reading “Magnolia x soulangeana”
In Phantastes by George MacDonald, a country maiden warns the hero, Anodos, to shun the Ash and the Alder, but says he can ‘trust the Oak, and the Elm, and the great Beech.’ Sure enough, Anodos meets a Beech tree with a voice ‘like a solution of all musical sounds’ who longs to be a woman. She invites him to cut lengths from her hair, and uses them to create a protective girdle of beech leaves for his magical journey. Continue reading “Trust The Great Beech For a Bold, Bright Winter Garden”