Saturday, May 10, 2014

The picturesque?

I have been reading The Ash and the Beech by Richard Mabey (Vintage Books, London. 2013).

In chapter 3 Mabey explains the importance of John Evelyn in promulgating the idea of planting trees as opposed to natural regeneration. Mabey comments "But as a philosophy, a policy, woodland creation was regarded as faintly eccentric and probably unnecessary. Why waste energy planting trees, when, since the time of the Creation, woods had done it so very successfully themselves?"

DSCN3134 trees

The picture above from the Metre and its immediate surrounds makes this point.  There are 10 trees in the foreground of the picture, though some are difficult to see.  The obvious ones are, from left to right, hornbeam, birch, sallow, birch again and ash.  In addition there are oak, holly, hazel and hawthorn.

All these have appeared of their own accord, unaided by me, though they do, to a certain extent, have to be protected from rabbits.

I am struck too by how much TSM now looks like woodland with its bugle, ferns, lanky grass and, of course, the trees.

There are now several baby common hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna) and they seem to have done particularly well over the last year.

DSCN3136 Hawthorn seedling

Mostly the bugle is doing well too, but some plants are not so vigorous and have their leaves mottled with yellowish.  I suspect this is a virus of some sort.

DSCN3138 bugle virus