Posted on May 8, 2021
When the new leaves of beech trees overwinter in the bud, they are neatly folded up – not crumpled randomly. As they burst free in Spring, you can see that each leaf is pleated in a regular fashion so that they unfold like the ribs of an opening fan. The leaves have silky soft hairs around the edges, and the blade shows green as well as red pigments. Later in the year the leaves become darker purple as the red pigments dominate.
Posted on May 7, 2021
I know that most people living in Greenwood House do not have their own gardening space but many have window boxes and outdoor pot plants, so this may be of interest. Also, over the past 18 months or so, if we hadn’t realised it previously, we certainly learnt how connecting with nature outdoors – walking around the grounds and surrounding countryside – can enhance the way we feel both physically and mentally. Nurture for Nature – Taking care of yourselves and our pollinators this spring is a campaign by the organisation Butterfly Conservation. They consider how important it is to support and encourage wildlife such as butterflies and moths for their sake and for our own. Linking to the Butterfly Conservation website lets you see a short introductory video and download a beautifully illustrated leaflet that includes a prescription for being outdoors – the science behind wellbeing in nature; how to find mindfulness outdoors; species to spot this Spring; grow your herb garden; go wild for flowers; gardening tips; family-friendly fun; and why butterflies and moths matter. It is well worth having a look.
If you are interested in learning more about butterflies and how to identify them, I have a glossy foldout Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland produced by the Field Studies Council to give away free to the first one of my neighbours in Greenwood House (Charlton Down, Dorset) to contact me with their flat number so I can put it through their letterbox.
Posted on April 30, 2021
One of the greatest pleasures afforded me as a Greenwood House resident must be watching the huge copper beech trees to the south of the building wake up in Spring. From the bare skeleton branches of winter, a gradual hint of a tint of pink starts the display. Then before you know it, the leaf buds are opening and the bright rusty red leaves unfold. I never cease to be delighted at observing the show. From a distance and close to. I must admit to being almost obsessed by the beauty of these trees. I take lots of photographs throughout the year. The trees are like old friends to me and give great solace and joy. I make no apology for the fact that I will be including lots of pictures of them in this blog. (How many copper beeches do you actually think are out there?)