Last week I came across an amazing blog, via Twitter. One of the big guys at Gollancz had tweeted about a blogger he admires, and fully expecting a fantasy type blog featuring swords and dragons and other things that don’t really float my boat (well, I do like dragons), I had a look. Wow! I was blown away by the blog called Loose and Leafy.

It actually comes from around Weymouth, which is where I lived for 27 years and I so wish I’d met the lady when I lived there – she sounds lovely. She’s a Tree Follower, and the idea is that you choose a particular tree and then follow it for a year. You take lots of photos (or draw or paint it, I guess, if you can) and blog about it whenever you feel so inspired. What a lovely, lovely idea! I bet many of my followers will join me in this – several of you whom I’ve got to know spring to mind immediately. If you follow this link and then go back to her Feb 5th post, she explains a bit more about it there.

So today is my first Tree Follower blog, and I’ll probably do one of these every couple of weeks or so. Although it could be more as I can see how exciting this could become, for me at least. The tree I’ve chosen is one that really chose me. As you may know, we moved house at the end of last year and finally bought our first house together. One of the three things that sold this house to me – and the most important one – was the beautiful garden. Not beautiful as in it’s perfect and full of wonderful plants, which it isn’t. But beautiful because it contains several mature trees and it’s reasonably private, considering we’re in Reading, and it’s full of birds and squirrels. I really, really love it.

I was just a tiny tad disappointed when we examined the garden closely to discover what the trees actually were. Horse chestnuts, lime, hornbeam and sycamore I think. Not entirely sure as all the leaves are now gone, but definitely horse chestnuts and sycamore and the other two are debatable as I don’t know them so well. I was disappointed because my favourite trees are the ones I grew up with in the two gardens of my childhood. These were, in the first garden: beech (all-time favourite), oak (with mistletoe), sweet chestnut, silver birches, Scots pines and rowans. The second garden had a giant yew (a real favourite of mine), a massive walnut tree (so big it had its main branch held up with a kind of pit-prop) and a large orchard. I spent hours and hours of my childhood playing, reading, daydreaming and scribbling under each of these trees, and I can still picture each of them perfectly even though it’s over 40 years since I saw any of them. It’s because of these trees that I grew up loving nature and believing in magic and eventually writing Stonewylde.

So when I realised that not one of these special trees featured in my new garden, I was a little disappointed but determined, nevertheless, to make friends with the new ones, all of which are subject to a Tree Preservation Order. Not of course that I’d consider chopping them down! Plus I have a veritable nursery of baby trees that I’ve been growing in pots for the past four years until such time as we could afford to buy a house. So I shall soon be planting some of these in the garden – and they include most of my old favourites.

The tree that has demanded to be chosen is the one nearest to the house – a massive horse chestnut. It’s a whopper and I really hope it doesn’t invalidate our house insurance. This has proved to be a bit of a long blog so I shall end now with a picture of a bit of it, and write more about it during the week. I’m on a real roll at the moment with Shaman of Stonewylde and I’m itching to get back to it. So here’s a detail of Horse Chestnut, with more to come soon. Have a lovely week, everyone!


Comments are closed.

  1. K Caddy 12 years ago

    I’d love to have a garden with a huge tree in! In fact, I would love to have a garden… haha. I look forward to the day when im closer to nature. Growing up in Dorset, there was so much countryside and i do miss that! So I think, although I love this idea, it’ll be one I hang on to for some years, until I find a very special tree that I can follow. xx

  2. Kit Berry 12 years ago

    Ah but Kirsty – I didn’t mention this, but you only follow your tree for a year, then choose a different one! And you can choose one near you, maybe a tree you see every day on your way to work, and give it some love! Though I undertand your sentiment of course.

  3. Wild Roses 12 years ago

    ohhhhh what have you started me off on now ….!

  4. Lucy 12 years ago

    I grew up with horse chestnuts in my garden so they are a very special tree for me too. I’ve added a link to this post from Loose and Leafy and am looking forward to the ‘more’ that is to come over the weeks.

  5. Anonymous 12 years ago

    I have always been a ‘tree follower’ – I have loved trees all my life and I spend a lot of time rambling around the New Forest where I’ve lived for 11 yrs. I have my ‘special trees’ that I visit regularly. (I get called a ‘tree hugger’ amongst other things but I don’t mind) – Trees are the lungs of the earth, they also hold within them universal energy and ancient wisdom, which can be tapped into if your spirit has a mind to. I love the idea of Tree Followers, but I couldn’t just do it for a year, I’ve been following my ‘special trees’ for years and wouldn’t stop now. Blessings. Linda :-)

  6. ShropshirePagan 12 years ago

    My friends have a massive horse chestnut in the car park of their house – which used to be the old school! My childhood tree was a large silver birch which I remember sitting under to get some shade in the summer. These days our trees are primarily the hawthorns at the bottom of the garden. I love Lime trees as well – I had a very profound experience mediating with the trees in the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury a few years back – very proud trees x

  7. Jae Fae in Avalon 12 years ago

    Oh what a lovely idea :) I will do this. I have a rowan tree in my front garden, right outside my bedroom window as well, and I love watching it through the seasons. My cat likes to watch it too as it often has birds perching in its branches.

  8. Suzi Smith 12 years ago

    mmm…. i usually have a tree of the year to photograph (at spiritwhispers), though i’m rarely in one place for a full year! i already follow the blog… we’ve been in the festival of trees together, but really must get my act together & start blogging again!

  9. Leanne 12 years ago

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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