There was a distinct lack of trees in this garden when we moved here 18 months ago. There is a beech tree in the back garden, and another in the front, which are lovely but need careful management. There is a beautiful little acer palmatum in the back garden. And there is a hawthorn. I love hawthorns, they are a wonderful herald of Spring with their pure white blossom, and of course they are a magnet for wildlife. When the fence in the front garden blew down not long after we moved in I seriously considered planting a hawthorn hedge. When Lucy started asking people if they were going to follow a tree this year, the obvious thing to do was to pick one of the trees I have planted since moving here, one of the plum trees perhaps, or the trio of birches. But my hawthorn is tucked away down the side of the house and gets very little attention – from me, anyway, the birds love it – so this seemed like a good opportunity to make sure that I tracked its progress through the year and gave it a little dose of the limelight. So here it is:
As you can see, it is planted hard up against the fence (which is falling apart), hemmed in by paving slabs, and does a good job of guarding the path to the compost bins.
Not only does it have to contend with the paving slabs for space, it also has an ivy planted right up against it. Was this intentional? I have no idea, there is so much ivy in this garden, it is impossible to tell what was placed deliberately and what has been seeded by the birds or has just suckered from the parent. Somehow this looks deliberate though.
Whatever the reason, the two are now growing together, tightly bound.
Some of the upper branches are surprisingly free of ivy, but one whole section has it growing up all the way to the very top. I haven’t managed to get a good photo of this yet, but hopefully you can see what I mean.
The whole tree seems to be making a bid for freedom, canting over the fence, looking for all the world as if it is yearning for the company of the willows in the neighbouring park.
Viewed from the other side, from within the park itself, you can see that it would feel right at home in what is a wild corner, thick with brambles and Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum).
It might want to re-think its choice of playfellows though, the willows have a tendency to shed branches in the wind, and we get a lot of wind. The hawthorn is already playing host to one such branch, and others, larger, could cause it quite a lot of damage.
The whole silhouette of the tree is bumpy with fat buds.
I can’t wait for it to be smothered in blossom. If you are interested in trees, do pop over to Lucy’s blog, read about her own tree and see which trees other people have been posting about.
I’ve been having a rather tree-themed week, I went to Plas Newydd on my birthday, and got obsessed with the many mature trees they have there, so I will cheat and leave you with a slideshow of some of them. Because all trees are rather wonderful in their own way and deserve to be admired ;-)