Saturday, 9 December 2017

Totally Trees

Mizzy BunnyButt in the apple tree (summer photo).

I've kept a post featuring my trees on the back burner until there was nothing else going on in the garden.  This week alone there's been good weather, then rain, some frost, winds from Storm Caroline, all making their mark, not to mention another delivery of bulbs some fool ordered.

Time to take the bit in my teeth.  Trees it is.

1.  There's a notion in garden design (borrowed from Japanese gardening techniques, I believe) to use something beyond the garden boundaries as a focal point for the design inside the borders.  This birch would be that focal point, were I gifted in garden design.  In every season, at every time of day - & night, thanks to the street light - the eye goes to it first.  I'd love a garden large enough for a small copse of birch trees.

Birch from the abandoned garden next door.

2.  My acer's been featured before, when its leaves were at the apex of colour.  With most of them on the ground now, they've still got shades & tones.

The colour of winter via the acer.

What I didn't show before is its heroic determination to live.  Someone long ago planted it at the base of a brushed yew tree, but a self-seeded elder got between them.  Here you can see the acer growing horizontally to survive the squatter.  The yew is behind the both of them, out of this shot.

Old woman acer bending under the elder.

And a close up of the trunks, with the acer being the smooth, more grey colour & the elder a rough brown.  Ivy grows up the yew just visible at the back. 

The elder was beautiful in bloom & the acer is thriving so what to do, what to do . . .

Acer & elder grappling.

3.  Several years ago, a woman wrote an article about her addiction to growing monkey puzzles from seed.  I'd long wanted a monkey puzzle, so sent off for my own seeds.  For all my efforts, only 2 germinated, with only one of those surviving more than a few months.  Here is that sad little guy who, up 'til this summer, looked healthy.

Now it's brown on all its extremities.  I fear this year'll see the last of him.  Damn.  Anyone have suggestions?

Look at that sweet monkey puzzle face.

4.  I suspect our apple tree was planted about the same time as the yew.  Then or sometime later, the apple was given a wisteria for company.  The garden sat in neglect for possibly 10 years previous to our occupancy, which left the wisteria to go stark raving mad.  Shoots from the trunk made a latticework over the ground, going in one direction across the patio, into the garage.  In the other direction, it climbed the yew.

Yes, there's an apple tree in that wisteria.

It'll take a few years' pruning to pull it back to civility.  Despite it covering the apple's canopy, we had a great apple crop.  And it did look beautiful in bloom.

Apple & wisteria earlier this year.

5.  There's a trio of fruit trees planted near the acer, although 'planted' might really mean 'heeled in a single hole & left to their own devices'.  These are 2 apple & an ornamental cherry.  We got only 1 apple, but the cherry did okay producing fruit.

Trio of fruit trees.

If this is technique rather than neglect, I'd love to hear about it.

Close up the the trio trunks.

6.  In addition to those bulbs I don't remember ordering, this week brought a new 20th century Asian pear to replace one bought in the spring that didn't thrive.  The nursery were great on the phone, both with advice on ordering the first one, then when explaining why it only produced one sad little leaf.

This guy's been planted since the photo, so come on next year!

Doodle thinks this is her new stick.

So there you have it.  That's my Six.  But before you go . . .

Love them trees.

As always, please head over to the inciter of this meme, The Propagator where you'll find not only his Six, but links to many, many other Six on Saturday blogs.

See you next week!


  1. Trees hold such interest at any time of year.

  2. Seems to me you will need to make some decisions about your trees. I suspect that the garden went quite wild before you moved in. Wisteria was removed at our house when we moved in as rats enjoyed climbing in it far too much to my liking! Also there were simply way too many trees here and that prevented any one from thriving. Three in one spot just makes no sense... in my opinion. But it is so very hard to make those decisions about removing things and pruning!

  3. Fortunately I've not had to deal w/rats since 2 houses ago when my neighbours had chickens. Yes, this garden didn't have much care for a few years, & it shows.

  4. The wisteria is so beautiful. I must admit I'm a bit reluctant to try one!

  5. Wisteria are the long game. I've inherited one in several of the gardens where I've lived but recently got a youngen for myself which will hopefully be blooming age by the time I retire to my REAL garden.

  6. Looks like your garden is a competitive place for trees! My advice on the monkey puzzle would be grow something else I'm afraid, I don't quite understand their appeal. There are a few around though they always look totally out of place to me. Each to their own though. If I notice anything common to the ones I see growing I'll let you know!