One of the garden jobs we completed this winter was one that had been on the list since we moved in almost ten years ago (we never rush important decisions). Our garden was home to a huge pine tree that our neighbour told us was a Christmas tree planted out about 45 years ago, an event she remembers by thinking back to how old the young children who lived in the house were. The gardens either side of ours had done the same thing in similar years and there was a line of trees stretching across four back gardens. I say was, as ours is no longer.
We love trees and having an orchard full of fruit and nut trees was a major plus for us when we bought the house, but this pine tree was not a pretty tree, it blocked a lot of light to the house, especially in winter when the kitchen is at it's gloomiest. It’s size was also now worrying us in terms of the damage it could do in a storm as high wind storms seem to be more frequent in summer and winter than when we first moved here. It had to go before the birds started making their nests.
On the day of the felling I was riddled with guilt. I’m sure the tree surgeons thought I was barking mad as I stood looking up into it’s branches and apologised to the pair of collared doves who were sitting in it and looking down on us. I refrained from giving it one last hug, but I did collect some pinecones to keep as a memento and even took a last photo of the shadow it cast on the house. It was the right decision, but it wasn’t an easy one.
|The final shadow|
I’m happy to report that the garden birds seem to have adapted very well to it’s absence and the difference it has made to our use of the garden is amazing. The garden seems so much bigger, we can now see the beauty of the old ginkgo biloba tree that was hidden behind the pine and have added a bistro table that enjoys the shade for morning coffee and also the last rays of evening sun for an apero. The self-seeded fig tree has had an enormous growth spurt now it sees the light, but so far there are no signs of fruit. I love it for it’s striking leaves, but if anyone knows how I can encourage it to fruit I would love to know.
|The happy fig tree|