After working for some years in parks and gardens, it became apparent that visitors come for various reasons
Some visitors seem to be ‘doing’ the garden as our trans-Atlantic cousins ‘do’ Europe; right, been round there, on to the next. Others appear to be weighed down by affairs of state or domestic meltdown, as they go by, deep in conversation, leaving a passing tantalising snippet; “of course he would do that, he’s just that kind of man” or more worryingly “She ignored everyone’s, advice”, leaving the unnoticed listener in the dark as they stride out of earshot.
So on a serious note this shows the importance of 'green lungs' in urban settings, somewhere for anxieties to be sorted out and jangling nerves soothed. Less seriously, this is a plea to slow down and appreciate the artistry that’s being overlooked; here are some examples from this week’s meanderings:
Young growth on some conifers in the Bicentenary Arboretum
[Click photos to enlarge]
Abies veitchii; described in Hillier’s ‘Manual of Trees and Shrubs’ as a beautiful large fast growing tree – better in urban areas than most others.
Pinus densiflora; Japanese Red Pine
Counterpart of our Scots Pine
Abies spectabilis; Himalayan Fir
Magnificent tree that’s susceptible to spring frosts
And the broadleaves aren't bad either...
Malus floribunda AGM; Japanese Crab
OK, visitors are not going to miss seeing this, but what about a closer look at the flower clusters?
Quercus marilandica, the black jack oak, has lovely red young foliage.
Rhododendron decorum AGM; Great white rhododendron; its flowers have subtle pinkish-white shades, but stoop down and smell!
Some of these might take a bit of finding - but by then all your anxieties will be forgotten.