Gardening Magazine

Lucy's Tree Watching

By Cathythompson
Picture I know I'm really much too late for this meme, which is supposed to happen on the 7th of each month. However Lucy at Loose and Leafy suggested that I might join in with 'Tree Watching' at any time, so here goes! (And I shall try to stick to the date in December!) Take a look at the other tree watchers linking onto Lucy's blog - it's a wonderful world!
Ahem ... I have an itch to keep an eye on this young walnut in our garden (centre of the picture, looking angelic in the autumn light). I am inspired a) by the fact that it looks so very pretty at the moment in its little circle and b) by the fact that my husband, Nick, keeps beavering away researching walnuts and he's finally got me in gear.
So, we have five walnuts in the garden: this, in my opinion, is far too many given that other plants don't grow well underneath them. But Nick reckons that property prices increase in France if you have walnuts on your land, so it's difficult to decide to chop one/two down. Add to that the fact that he is currently planning his own walnut-oil processing factory ...
As I said, we have five trees. There are two mother trees by the river and two good babies further into the garden (and an third baby, probably the one for the chop). The two babies have been given their own little circular lawns, which will (eventually, we hope) fit into the overall garden design. The two mother trees are, surprisingly, two different species - Juglans nigra and Juglans regia. I still don't know which is which (Nick does), but that's the point (for me) of this meme. I'd like to become better acquainted.
Picture To the left, my 'pretty' tree, which is the one I've decided to follow. To the right the mysterious 'other' (actually looking quite cute here ... oh, I can't decide!). Every year (three so far) I think the 'other' walnut is dead, because it comes into leaf so late. This year it leafed up in July. Behind both of these small trees stand their putative mothers on the river bank - these are the biggest trees you can see in the picture, just behind their offspring. But, who knows, perhaps each is standing in front of the other's mother? Picture Closest in the picture is what I'll call the 'July leafer' - the 'other' walnut. 'My' walnut is in the background. You can see that the late leafer is still carrying (predictably) quite a good head of hair, whereas my favorite is on the way to baldness. This all begs the question: Lucy, can I follow two trees? Picture But this is the tree I'd like to get to know better - because I think it's 'worth it'. Picture And this is mommy tree, just behind. Although here's another mystery. The two young ones are so carefully placed in the garden that sometimes I ask myself if someone planted them? That's what this tree watching thing will be about for me: understanding the differences between them and trying to work out how they came to be exactly where they are. Picture As I said, my favorite baby is on the way to losing all its leaves at the moment. I tried measuring and photographing the foliage of the two to compare, but it's really too late for that now. Next year ... Picture A parting shot of the favorite. A wife, a dog, and a walnut tree, the more you beat 'em ... the better 'ey be ... Fortunately there's none of that in this house. My husband is too absorbed in the walnut harvest (very good in 2014) ... The walnuts, like all deciduous trees, are currently on their way out, but there's something else around here on its last legs. My camera. It's a little Nikon Coolpix (read my posts about vegetarian recipes in France if you want the full, sad story). It gets more and more temperamental, but it was rather cheap and has lasted us well. I'm looking to invest in another and wondered what other garden bloggers use, and why?

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