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Branching out

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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Branching out Reply with quote

Remember: your plants are only as good as the soil they are growing in.
Trees hold an elusive quality in a garden, whatever the size. It is common grounds that when you visit a garden the first thing your eyes set upon is a tree, take Kew gardens for instance: as soon as you have acclimatised to the sheer grandeur, you notice the Acer palmatums and Piceas. Even the Beech and Sycamore trees, which do not even belong to the gardens, pose an impact on your perception of the place. They intrude. The same goes for any other garden that you care to visit; trees dominate. Dominance which is rather complementary to what the garden is about. Such is an example that each and every plant secures with it a memory. A memory which may root back to when it started life as a cutting or a memory when it first became part of your environment via a friend or family member. And it is this connotation that has made the plant world what it is now: a magnificent and meaningful lifecycle in which trees have played an important role with the majority drenched in folklore and myth such as the festive holly (Ilex aquafolium) and macabre Alder veridis.
Unfortunately I lament on the fact I have no just space for any trees in this garden and quietly remain content with the three apple trees, the plum tree and cherry which all co-exist happily in the vegetable garden, never failing to provide a lush harvest throughout the summer months. I have yet to discover anything better than spending a day in the middle of September with the mellowing sun on my back and the overwhelming zest of life, picking baskets and baskets of apples, the ripe fragrance arousing every sense. Although I adore these trees for their fruit, which I can devour in a matter of days, they earn their keep in winter when little else is happening. Obviously no fruit is offered at such a time however, fruit is not what I want, it is the identity that the trees possess which is the fundamental aspect. Each year after leaf fall each individual tree bares a different characteristic: there may be one with more gnarled branches than another yet that tree's bark makes up for it, that tree's varied because of the blackbird that nests in it each year in contrast with this one which homes several dozen wrens come January and roosting sites are at an all time low. We land at a point where it becomes visible how unique trees can be from one other. Each tree conjures a certain memoir in ones mind and provides a point to look forward to in great earnest.
On the whole, there is a tree suited to every situation. Know your soil. Then, and only then, can you be sure of which tree will thrive in it. Soil really is the fundamental aspect to be taken into consideration before even thinking of cultivating a twiggy delight. For instance, the formidable clay soil will sustain Hawthorn, Pyrus, Prunus, Malus and magnificent Robinias whereas sandy soils will comply with more temperamental species that, in clay soils, would rapidly become waterlogged. These trees include some real crackers such as Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree), Eucalyptus and Olea europaea. One certain means of finding a tree adapt to your soil is to take notice of what people around you are growing, especially in your constituency as your type of soil is highly likely to be of the same characteristics. Remember: your plants are only as good as the soil they are growing in. If you happen to be one of the unlucky ones with little or no bulk in the ground, incorporate some organic matter; preferably manure and this will help- for the short term anyway...
I'd like to share this piece of good news with you: i attended my high schools christmas celebration for the second time, this year. There i hosted a plant stall giving advice and selling potted arrangements which i had made myself and wreaths, also made by myself. The evening went very well and i more or less sold out. I have even added a picture of it just to prove i can look smart occassionally!
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