Let’s Go Outside: Yet more trees to plant

27 Jan

_DSC0121Oh dear. Pity my bank balance. It is that time of the year. The bare root time. When I see programmes on the television, such as Garden Revival, and see fruit trees in full blossoming bloom and think, I need more.

Despite the fact that last year we planted over 100 trees.

I  have a vision of looking down the field and seeing beautiful blossom, heralding the end to the soggy (this year) or bitterly cold (last year) winter. Bluebells scattered at the feet of apple, pear, crab apple and cherry trees. Bees buzzing, birds singing, chickens clucking.

Spring time.

We are creating a back drop, a windbreak of hardy evergreen and deciduous trees. But this will be quite plain to look at. In front I want all the blossom.

Every morning I walk the dog around the field and inspect the trees that have already been planted. Looking for growth, looking for signs the muntjac deer has been munching. The deciduous trees all have little buds on them, waiting for their chance to burst open. It has been a year since we planted the bulk of our trees – and it is such an exciting time, waiting, wondering what they’re going to do, how they’re going to grow this year.

One tree I noticed has put on a good spurt is the wild cherry (pictured – taken today). This is a native tree with beautiful white flowers. Great for wildlife. You can buy 60/80cm saplings for a couple of pounds each. They are vigorous and will look glorious down the end of the field in front of the windbreak.

_DSC0140The other tree we’re interested in is the willow. Again, fast growing, but they also like damp, wet ground. Something we have in abundance where the stream comes through. Which is where we are thinking of creating a willow bank. It will soak up some of the water and allow us to coppice for firewood. We already have the hybrid willows (which I have cut back and taken cuttings from) but it would be nice to get colour from the scarlet willow, to have a few pussy willows (the grey willow is one of the earliest to flower creating an early source of nectar and pollen for bees) and the common osier willow which grows extremely fast and will be useful for screening.

You’d think that enough, wouldn’t you? But I’m also buying a few hedging plants – to space between the hawthorn we planted last year. This was always on the agenda and I spaced the hawthorn accordingly. Blackthorn, dogwood, guelder rose and dog rose are on the shopping list.

And lilac. I love lilac.

All of the above will be bought as saplings. It’ll mean I have to be patient. (And this goes against my nature.) But it means every new year I have something glorious to look forward to.

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