Friday, 13 June 2014

Following my rowan tree towards midsummer

My little rowan tree took a long time to get going in spring but now it is full of leaf and going-over flower.  It stands protectively just behind the shepherd's hut.


There it is, just behind the chimney, growing up out of the hedge.  To the left of the hut the boundary is holly trees, somehow with an elder growing amongst them.  You can just see the white of the elder flowers in the tree.


The tree is multistemmed.  I imagine that might be as a result of the young tree being cut down with the rest of the hedge when it was smaller so that it has branched out like coppiced hazel. There are two other rowans in the field but the others are single stemmed.  They are graceful trees like that but I also like the gently spreading shape of the multi stemmed one.  If anything for me that increases the protective nature of its presence.


Look up into the canopy between the two largest trunks and you can see why rowan leaves appear in designs for fabric or wallpaper.  Their delicate, perfect symmetry is a pleasure for the eye.


The rowan rises out of the hedge now and the hedge itself is full of leaf and flower.  The lushness of a native hedge in summer always amazes me.  Dog roses climb through the hawthorn.


A month or so ago bluebells washed at the foot of hedge.  Now it is foxgloves.  Bees climb in and out of the bells.


The badger track which leads round the tree and out under the fence into the next field is even clearer to see now that the grass is growing long.


We cut back some of the smaller branches of the tree when the shepherd's hut went in to stop them rubbing against it.  The new growth from where they were cut seems to leap straight from the trunks.


Wherever I look, up, down or alongside, I love this tree.  It is a companion tree.  I am getting to know it so much better as a result of following it every month.  Thanks to Lucy  at Loose and Leafy for the idea.  Have a look at her blog for links to people all over the world following their favourite trees.

30 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea - to watch a tree through the seasons. I love to look at your shepherd's hut - what a lovely retreat it must be.

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    1. It is great as a retreat. I find an hour there with a book really picks me up. Curiously, I don't think the effect is quite the same when I am using my laptop. wonder why not?

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  2. That is a special Rowan tree. We have Mountain Ash, I think they are either the same tree or a very close relative. Love these trees, so showy with their spring blossoms and the bright red clusters of berries in the fall.... they provide so much fruit for the wildlife. One year they stayed on the trees very late into December through several frosts. The winter robins feasted aggressively on them .. they had a field day frenzy, but at the end of the day they had very wonky flight patterns.... I think they were drunk.

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    1. It is the same tree I think gwen. They are quite favoured by birds here. They tend to go quite early in the season. I suspect they need to stay on the trees for quite a while to create wonky flight!

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  3. I love the idea of following a special tree and Rowans are magic trees and so beautiful. Jane x

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    1. They are a magic tree with a long history of protection against witches.

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  4. I so much enjoy the delights go your garden.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I love the insights into your city world too!

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  5. Idyllic~but then again, this is Wales and I'm a little biased on that count. Would love the space to have a little hut like yours. A perfect retreat.

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    1. I have just come in from sleeping out there last night. Very quiet, very dark. Perfect!

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  6. It looks as if the little path is being well used. Have you seen the badgers yet? Wondering if you are able to track them back to a holt nearby.

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    1. The set seems to be in the field down below us. Ian has seen one down there. We rarely see them on our own land.

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  7. I love your garden and that shepherd's hut is fantastic. I also love Rowans- I'm so glad you're following one this year and I shall particularly look forward to the orange berries in autumn x

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    1. The shepherd's hut was bought as an alternative study space for me when my father in law came to live with us and moved into what had been my room. Best investment ever!

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  8. I love all your photographs Elizabeth, and also your delightful header.
    We have a rowan and every year countless small ones spring up around it, but they are always
    suckers from the roots and never tiny trees which can be planted and grown on.
    The shepherd's hut is absolutely glorious - how wonderful to sleep in such a pretty place and to have the chance to see the badger too.

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    1. Yes we get suckers too, though not as many as with wild cherry which is busy making a small grove all by itself!

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  9. Your rowan seems to have a its own special character Elizabeth and it's most interesting to see the seasonal changes in the area surrounding it.

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    1. This tree following is really interesting isn't it? I am so pleased that I joined in this year.

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  10. "Welsh Hills Again" has been included in our Sites To See #379. Be assured that we hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/06/sites-to-see-379.html

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  11. Elizabeth... I'm so glad you wrote about your rowan! Ours is now a long, slender sapling (we planted it about 4 years ago) and it's maybe 18 feet tall. Same leaves as yours, but only one trunk. Thing is, it has never put out flowers or berries. Just wondering how old yours was before it started... is it something that only happens when the tree is fully mature? I've been looking forward to those red rowan berries for ages, it seems... maybe I should be patient and just be glad the tree is healthy.

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    1. I think ours have been flowering since they were very young but with only a tiny number of flowers which don't seem to make berries yet. We have one which has been in about seven years and that had lots of berries last year. The seasons are very different and the weather makes a big impact. Hope you get berries soon!

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  12. No rowans here but I loved my visit with yours!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Loved these photos. Could you tell me more about the rowan tree? I think they are sold over here as mountain ash.

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    1. They are also known as mountain ash, particularly in the US and Canada I think. The ones which are native to Britain are found pretty much everywhere through the UK. They will grow on quite high and windy sites and don't reach great heights so are useful for smallish gardens as well. I love them. There is a lot of myth and folklore attached to them which I wrote about a bit in my first tree following blog.

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    2. Rowan are known as mountain ash as well, especially in the US and Canada I think. They are found throughout the UK but grow well on high and windy sites so there are many in Wales and Scotland and the high parts of England such as the Lake District. There is much folklore attached to the rowan. I wrote about it a bit in the first tree following blog if you are interested!

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    3. Thank you! I think I'll look for one.

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  14. Lovely post, sorry I am a bit late. Your Rowan is a magical tree to follow.

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  15. It's a really lovely tree Elizabeth, a very attractive protector. I am a big fan of rowans, particularly the feathered foliage, and yours has extra character with its multiple trunks. I wonder if the badgers mind being tickled in the tummy by the grass?!

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