3rd February 2014

Acres and acres of trees

I am going to have a few large trees on the garden. I am only now formulating exactly which tree varieties I will be using but there will probably be three or possibly four. However, I need to search for the right specimens. I have made two trips over the past few weeks to Northern Europe where they grow magnificent trees.

close-up-prunus-avium-low-resI went first to Lorenz von Ehrens nursery which has around 1000 acres of trees over a few sites. I have 24 hours to look around and start finalising my choices. It is really hard because at every turn, I salivate over yet another beautiful specimen and I found it really hard to get it down to a short list.


Finally after driving through field after field of wonderful trees, I decide on a Prunus avium (Bird Cherry) as one variety. This is the native cherry tree which I saw growing in the area around the former trenches when I was visiting the battlefields last May they were in flower then will have finished flowering by the time they are on the show garden at Chelsea Flower Show.

Last week I went to Van den Berks nursery to see some very large Acer campestres (field maple) which I have had my eye on since October. The nursery had sent me some photos when the trees were still in leaf and I had set my heart on them. They do not disappoint. However, they are huge around 6 metres high with wonderful wide canopies with roots 1.7m in diameter. Not sure how we will get them to the UK, let alone get them into the garden. We will have to review some of our planting as it will be very difficult to plant anything around them! But I want them in the Lost Gardens Zone because they have a wonderful shape and will provide shelter from rain and sun for visitors just as trees would do in a French town square.


An island in the Somerset Levels

Dave Root of Kelways is growing all our perennials, annuals, bulbs and grasses they have planted and are growing on thousands to ensure we get the right mix for the garden. However, Kelways is just outside Langport in the Somerset Levels and since the New Year most of the surrounding area has been under water. We have been lucky enough not to lose any plants despite the fact that parts of the nursery are under some water.

photo-3As I write this, Gary who works with Dave Root has been cut off at his father’s farm at Burrowbridge and Dave tells me that there is only access into Langport on one road, happily the one with the local supermarket!


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