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Miscellaneous

 

Planting for the Future
Kingston Lacey Beech
Dingestow Oak
Yews
Much Marcle Yew
Bettws Newydd Yew
Wye Valley Chestnuts
Sticks & Stones
Suiseki
Dyffryn Garden Maples


Planting for the Future - a Tree Story

Here is a story I heard from a carpenter in Cardiff. He had been working on a job restoring a 400 year old university building with great oak beams in the main hall. After 400 years the beams had been attacked by beetle and needed replacing, but the problem was where to find suitable timber. Then it was realized that the University also owned land on which were planted exactly the oak trees which were required for the replacement of the beams, and although nobody knew the reason why, these trees had been protected, so that no-one had been allowed to cut them down or use the timber for any other purpose. The trees were then used for the purpose for which they were intended, and new acorns planted, so that the beams could again be replaced in 400 years at the end of their natural life.

Forward planning?

 

Kingston Lacey Beech

This is an avenue of magnificent beech on the B 3082, near Badbury Rings, and leading to the Kingston Lacy estate, which was the home for over 300 years of the Bankes family, who bought both Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy in the 1630s. It is now owned by the National trust, but the avenue of beech forms part of the attractive approach to Wimborne Minster. The trees are widely spaced on both sides of the road for about one mile and there is another row of young beech planted on both sides, outside the avenue for the future.

 

Dingestow Oak

An oak tree was traditionally planted in the centre of a field, to provide shelter for the animals, and also for the acorns to provide food for the pigs. Here is an oak tree of great age, at Dingestow, OS grid ref: 459 100

 

Yews

There are many legends surrounding yew trees, which can live to a great age. After the Norman Conquest a spate of church building led to the planting of many churchyard yews. Some still thrive today, although over 900 years old. The yew trees were usually planted in a deliberate manner: one beside the path leading from the funeral gateway of the churchyard to the main door of the church, and the other beside the path leading to the lesser doorway. The remains of Anglo-Saxon churches also suggest that the early English planted yews in a circle around the church, which was usually built upon a central mound. I also read some time ago, that the very earliest trees were planted on the north side of churches, and that one can tell the age of the trees, by the position relative to the church.
The yew's reputation for long life is due to the unique way in which the tree grows. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree. So the yew has always been a symbol of death and rebirth, the new that springs out of the old.

 

Much Marcle Yew

This is a fine old yew in Much Marcle churchyard, grid ref: 658 328, just off the A449, from Ross to Ledbury, in Herefordshire.

 

Bettws Newydd Yew
One of the oldest yews in Wales - A new trunk has formed in the centre, and the outer part is now sculpted by the elements.


Wye Valley Chestnuts
Here is a row of approximately 20 remarkable Sweet Chestnut trees of great age.




Some have died and others show signs of falling apart, but many are still growing strongly.

 

 

Sticks & Stones
This is a collection of photographs by Al Campbell, loosely related to bonsai, but definitely related to an aesthetic appreciation of nature.

Link to view Al's photos


Suiseki

A collection of personal stones

Link to suiseki



Dyffryn Garden Maples

This is one of the maples in Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan, which is thought to be one of the bonsai in the Cory Collection, one of the earliest bonsai collections in the UK. The collection disappeared, but this maple is very likely one of the early bonsai.

 

Observatory Bonsai Nursery
Situated in Cardiff, South Wales, UK
Tel: 02920 484892 - 07974 390004
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