Well I am beginning to wonder whether I chose the right tree. I can't say my rowan is doing very much. All the other trees on Lucy's tree following blog seem to be making a bit more of a stir.
There is the very slightest swelling of the buds but this particular tree remains very determinedly bare.
At its feet the celandines are shining and the grass is growing.
The badger path which runs beside the tree and under the fence into the next field is becoming well worn. I wonder how many badgers are using it? I must ask Ian to set up the wildlife camera over night up here so we can see.
I am blaming the badgers for the fact that these daffodils have had their tops and flowers nibbled off. I am not sure if badgers do have a weakness for daffodils and certainly most of ours seem to have survived unscathed but these are right next to the path - perhaps just too much temptation, like a piece of chocolate left on the worktop.
There is much new growth to be found in other parts of the garden. I knew the bottom of the field was more sheltered than the top where my rowan stands by the shepherd's hut. The huge hollies take the wind from the hut but the whole top boundary is more exposed than the bottom one.
Quite how much more sheltered I only realised when I wandered down to look at the native tree bed, trying to ignore quite how much grass has invaded it. Any part of the field which I am trying to garden is always trying to go back to being field. I was astonished to find that the rowan down here, which I believe to be the same native variety, is already in full, delicate leaf.
The bottom of the field is sheltered from the prevailing wind by a small group of trees on the other side of the hedge and by the lie of the land and that shelter is clearly enough to let the tree down here burst into leaf well ahead of its sister. You can see the line of the trees along the top edge of the field behind the rowan. They are about fifty metres from the rowan and up a gentle slope.
I couldn't resist seeing what else was in leaf or flower. For the last week the countryside all around here has been greening: grass, hedges are suddenly bursting into growth and trees into blossom.
The damson tree, a proper little tree now, four years after planting, is a mass of white flower. Last year the bitter cold struck just as the tree was in blossom. Four damsons I think there were when the crop ripened, compared with buckets full the year before.
And all along the mixed hedge we planted there is leaf and blossom. Next month surely my tree will be in leaf. Here it is last month when it first appeared on the blog. Now off to post my link on Lucy's blog. Such a great idea!