It’s amazing what can be of interest or beauty in the garden even in December while all the tree branches are bare and stark against the winter sky. For a while I have been watching the barks of our five trees, and the knots one can see in them, I actually never knew the connection between a knot in the bark and a branch, and that a knot is a branch that got enclosed in the wood of the trunk during years of growth. I see these knots all the time in the wood panelling inside the house. Today I took note of them outside in the garden. My Hawthorn tree has many knots, the douglas fir, chestnut, oak and birch less so. While observing the fir tree bark I found a variety of colours, some quite red, the bark is also covered in white in certain areas, not sure if it is lichen, fungus, or even bird droppings, there are quite a few birds that like to use this tree, this morning a lot of twittering came from it, there was only one starling sitting on it’s branches though. On the fir I came across a tiny little snail, and on the hawthorn bark around the knot there was a slug to be seen, so I guess bark is quite important for wildlife. Once I was thinking that I would have to cut down the fir, but during last summer I observed so many of our garden birds using this tree, I decided to keep it despite having to sacrifice a little bit of vegetables due to less light, as birds are after all so precious, and some of them are declining, sad to say.
At this moment another big storm has been forecasted for Ireland, we have had more stormy days than quiet ones the last week or two, but today was a perfect day, wind still and 10C.
As Barbara Winkler once said:
“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle. . .
a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining
to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”