You should always plant a Walnut tree on the birth of a child – I didn’t know that!! Apparently this is something that British aristocracy and royalty have always done – so why has no-one ever told me!
Today I was briefly back from London to scope out the setting for our photo shoot on Monday – Coombe Lodge at Blagdon – it is a glorious venue with a myriad of locales - set in the most beautiful wooded grounds.
This is where I met John Bawden, the Head Gardener of 45 plus years – Emma and I were considering what turned out to be a 71 year old walnut tree when John shouted across “do like that tree ? ” Turns out it was “his tree” planted when he was born but staying “potted” until being finally rooted in the ruins of an old well on the main drive approaching the big house.
Planting of Walnut trees supposedly comes over from the Middle East and time of King Solomon when the investment would be rewarded in fruit, dye from the bark and good wood for furniture and latterly with British well-to-do beautiful wood for gun stocks etc.
Small world, turns out John the fanatical horticulturalist is well respected in the Dahlia and Chrysanthemum world and actually judges at our Street DC&V (veggies) Annual Show and knows our own local floral celebrities – Mike Sheppard et al, very well !!
Was in the pleasure gained from discovering, grafting and planting of Apple trees and the “value” of traditional varieties.
The lovely couple from whom we rented our Air BnB house last weekend were just in the process of establishing an authentic orchard full of their local Cornish apples.
After buying the house 6 years ago they had discovered 4 very old but healthy local cider apple trees in their back “garden”. Much investigation lead them to a Hereford expert, who couldn’t have been more excited if they had found the Holy Grail – seemingly these trees had sat untouched in the previous old couples garden “for many years” and were superb for, light crisp dry clear cider (and juice) – my personal tasting session can vouch for the authenticity of this claim.
So from 4 old gnarled specimens have come 260 young strong flourishing fruiting trees – which apparently the connoisseur cider world is baying for. Obviously the couple are extremely excited by this prospect and now in their mid-50’s they are changing their whole life from a profitable well established business to the challenges of a start-up microbrewery, and thoroughly enjoying it - but all because of the discovery of 4 very old apple trees.
It started last Friday getting stuck on “Unnamed Lane" on the Rame Peninsula......
As the two farmers who pulled my car from its lop-sided landing place (suspended between a ditch and a bank with only one wheel touching the ground) ironically pointed out –
“Word to the wise - never go up a 1 in 4 rutted lane where the trees meet in the middle and hedges haven’t been trimmed – it won’t end well”
As they were very kindly pulling me in the pouring rain from my stupid leaf strewn mud soaked furrow - I refrained from saying “NO shit Sherlock” and grinned graciously whilst I parted with £25.
My own fault (instructed by a sat nav and egged on by back seat passengers, I would mention) but nothing that I shouldn’t have already learnt in 40 years of driving!
Anyway I digress – Trees - sit back and enjoy them cuzz as a wise man once said – “Trees are our world’s most beautiful antiques”.