Wednesday, 11 July 2007

New Trees

Our order of bare rooted trees for this winter arrived yesterday! They travelled all the way up from Tasmania, completing the journey safe and sound. They're currently sitting in a bucket of very weak seaweed tea, and will be planted out at lunchtime today, if there's time.

The order was only for three trees this year, well, four if you count the ornamental, but I don't. Two new apples, a Beauty of Bath and Cornish Aromatic, and a pear, Beurre Hardy (also known as a Gellert's Butterbine, a much more appealing name in my opinion).

Why am I buying more trees when we are planning on moving, and actually put them into the ground?? As a young fellow I was a collector, and I remain so today. Stamps, coins, toys, essentially anything of which there was more than one variety was a target for collection. I enjoyed collecting different varieties of herbs, though this interest has fallen a little by the wayside due to the difficulty of obtaining anything outside of the mainstream range.

Fruit tree varieties have become the collectible of choice as I've gotten older, and so another couple of trees could not be resisted. I'll probably end up getting a couple more trees from the local nurseries, a mulberry and a medlar at least, and no doubt anything else that takes my fancy.

I cannot help myself but to keep putting plants into this place. I've been this way all along, even when we were renting houses, I had to keep putting things into the ground. Above and beyond the desire to collect things, there is also the desire to leave each place changed by my time there. I shall no doubt be forgotten as readily as the people that lived, and gardened, here before me, but the changes I make will perhaps live on, in some modified form, well into the future.

Each garden created in a place is either an adaptation or recreation of what was there before. Sometimes the site is cleared and levelled, and started on a blank slate, sometimes what existed before is added to, built upon. In either case, the environment of the garden is in a state of flux whilst humans work it. The garden and gardener grow together for a time, then part ways. The new gardener is subtly (or perhaps not so) influenced by the work of the previous gardeners. The new gardener that takes on a place grows not only with the garden, but with all the previous gardeners who were there.

If I were to resist the urge to plant more trees, then I would be resisting the urge to be a bigger part of the future, even anonymously. Who knows, one day, beyond "peak everything", people in this village may be eating Cornish Aromatics for supper, all grown from a tree in some forgotten fellow's back yard.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Hi Geoff

I travelled over here from down to earth. I think you make a really good point about the importance of planting for the future. If we're privileged enough to have land to live and work it seems only fitting we should leave it in better shape than when we arrived. And one of the joys of living in an old house is seeing what the garden throws up in the spring: lots of surprises and tantalising hints about past owners. I love it.