Gardening Magazine

The Mulberry

By Ozhene @papaver

I had one of those moments when something in the garden stopped me in my tracks and made me think about it. My white mulberry tree, bought three years ago when I also bought my liquidamber, is looking rather wonderful at this moment in time.

The Mulberry

The tree is currently at that perfect turning point of autumn. The leaves are golden yellow with top hints of green remaining. Soon, soon the leaves will fall and the yellow will speckle the ground around that is currently coppery-red from the horse-chestnut leaves

When I first bought this tree I kept it in a container in the Courtyard Garden. The Courtyard Garden is part 'I want you to be in a container in this area for ever' and part 'I want you to settle and establish a bit more before I put you out in the main garden' area. The mulberry was always going to go into the garden, but it seemed a bit wambly (technical term) and I was not convinced it was quite ready to go into the ground yet. By growing it on in a larger container I tell myself it has time to develop a bit more rootage that will help it settle in faster when the time comes.

The mulberry lived quite happily in its pot, but last autumn I thought it was time I set it free into the garden. I found a nice spot near to the top of the garden and in it went. It was a wet cold winter but the tree was fine. It has a hot very dry summer and I poured a bucket of water over its roots every now and again just to make sure it was ok, and it came through the summer with no issues. This is a good strong tree in need of some appreciation as it was, admittedly, bought as an afterthought alongside the liquidamber. It was there to make the postage more reasonable and whilst I had long-wanted a mulberry, it was not the primary reason for purchase. Fate has a way of dealing with such moments as it appears that the drought this year has killed the liquidamber, whereas the mulberry remains strong. Or maybe the mulberry killed the liquidamber in retribution for believing it was less loved ....

and as I walked close to it I stopped and stared and realised just how beautiful a tree it is. I remembered why I had bought it and appreciated it for what it is and what it will be as it grows and I smiled.


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