Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Following a tree in April

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!

28 comments:

  1. It's great to see it all waking up. I feel like whispering "We've made it" but I feel this might bring on the snow!! Sounds like you and I could negotiate a good deal on night vision cameras: Spying on badgers and sheep!! x

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    1. Ian put the camera up to spy on the badgers today! Will let you know what we see. hope the lambs are coming thick and fast.

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  2. Your Rowan has dignity. It's not rushing in on the first flourish but readying itself to make an entrance later. It is keeping our eyes on it. All the same, the picture of the more advanced tree - the leaves in front of the sky - catches my breath. Looking forward to 'Badgers - the DVD'!

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    1. The one in leaf is very beautiful isn't it? Keep sneaking a look at mine. so far, so dignified and bare!

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  3. It is quite amazing the difference microclimates can make. I planted two acers, same variety, one near the top of the hill and one half way down. The one in the more sheltered position comes into leaf way ahead of the other.

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    1. I don't think I had appreciated quite what an impact it made until living here where some parts of the garden catch the wind and some don't. Makes me wonder if I should be planting still more trees!

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    2. for years I've been gardening with a husband who says, you can never have too many trees.

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  4. I can almost feel Spring springing from your blog, and smell the moist air. As you mentioned on my blog, we are in different worlds. Spring here too, the mesquites are leafing out, cacti in bud, agaves sending up stalks. It has been a month since our last rain, none in the forecast.

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    1. It fascinates me how differently we live as a result of the landscape we live in. No rain in the forecast and none for a month? here that would be inconceivable!

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  5. Elizabeth, over here in New York, we are so far behind you all in spring showing us its beauty. Maybe by this weekend, when I can have another walk over to Central Park, I will see some encouraging signs.

    I like that you are keeping a close watch on Your Rowan. That way you will learn more about how it makes its transition from winter to spring. I am still keeping my down-filled coat at the ready, even if a sweater was enough of a warming layer yesterday and today. Tomorrow never knows, as the song goes.

    Please do keep up your badger watch. I think I remember seeing a long ago tv show about an amateur detective who lived in a windmill, that had a plot involving a badger watch. Isn't it badgers that guitarist Brian May has a connection to?

    It was reading Wind in the Willows for the first time just a few years ago that introduced me to badgers as animals worth considering. And I do continue to consider them.

    Rambling here, let me close this up with best wishes to you...it's such fun to see your posts and learn so much about the countryside. Many thanks. xo

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    1. I wonder how many of us how our image of badgers fixed by The wind in the Willows? There were also badgers in the works of "BB", don't know if you have come across them. With luck I will have some photos for you or at least a nature report!

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  6. Your Rowan will catch up, it's just being rather elegant and restrained. Exposure make s ahead of difference; my damsons, for instance, have had all the blossom stripped off them in Monday's wind / rain / general nastiness; a friend's trees lower down are covered. I sympathise, but your rowan will soon be starring in the May tree watching blogs. My damsons, on the other hand…. grumble, envy...

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    1. That is the trouble with blossom isn't it? Once gone, that is it for the year. Sympathise, that was us last year. I am really hoping this year's blossom will hang on!

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  7. It is interesting to see the leaves appearing at different times on the trees of tree followers' blogs. Your Rowan does seem rather late. I didn't realise that an exposed site would make such a difference.
    It looks as if you will get a bumper crop of damsons this year.

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    1. I am fascinated by the impact of the more sheltered position further down the hill. It makes me wonder if I am making the most of that part of the garden...

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  8. The sight of these shrubs and trees bursting forth feels so good. so cheery and fresh... can't wait till ours are in bud. We are having a very sunny day here and most of the snow is gone. our daffodills are only about 2" tall.. we will never catch up but we are trying.

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    1. Your season is shorter than ours but then you do get so much going on at once which is rather spectacular! I am a real sucker for spring. Just love it.

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  9. The damson tree is looking gorgeous. Spring blossom and spring flowers are just stunning and so much better in many ways than anything else the garden produces at any other time of year - this is open for debate though!

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    1. I love spring. I have tried hard to appreciate other times of year but spring has a real emotional pull for me!

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  10. How very appropriate. Myra and I are banging on about the Rowan tree which I planted back in January. I think it is Joseph Rock, I will have to go and check.Still no sign of the buds opening, they look healthy, but Rowan's are usually one of the first trees to show their leaves. She says I cant think of anything that you planted which died, no pressure there then..

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    1. My rowan is coming into leaf now. Hope yours is too!

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  11. I am seeing similar differences in the trees here ... the sheltered trees are in full leaf but the more exposed have only leaf buds. Although this weekend I'm in Cumbria and it's like I've stepped back a month in time in this corner of the county.

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    1. I find that when I go down to Devon to visit my family, particularly son and his wife who live in the South hams, they are a couple of weeks ahead of us up here.

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  12. I will be interested to see any photos that come from your wildlife camera. I've never seen a badger - other than in the Rupert books.

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    1. so far, no badger photos. Must be creeping in under the wire!

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  13. The damson blossom is glorious - do they fruit every other year or did I imagine that?

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    1. Not sure about that but it is certainly the case that ours fruited very badly last year. I had put that down to fierce cold and frost at flowering time,

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  14. I love all the spring flowers, my favourites are the lovely little violets.x

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