L to R: Cypress, Silver Birch, Viburnum, Old Man's Beard, Blue Fir, Lilac
Cypress: Planted as a windbreak and to give the garden some shape. The resident flock of sparrows have taken over these trees as their family tower block. Unfortunately this species is being ravaged everywhere by a viral disease which turns the foliage brown and eventually kills the plant.
Silver Birch: see separate panel
Viburnum: This is the cultivated V. opulus or Snowball Tree. Locally different varieties of viburnum can be seen in the wild, so this was planted to draw attention to that fact. I have also successfully transplanted a wild variety, V. mariesii, which has flat clusters of white flowers in June.
Old Man's Beard: see Wild Clematis on the 'White' page
Blue Fir: This tree was given to me by my parents as a small sapling in 1994 at the start of the garden. My mother took an interest in little else! The tree suffered an accident when a neighbouring farmer - the same man who had helped me plant it - let his cows into the garden and a cow broke off the crown of the tree. Perplexed, I thought of trying to graft a crown back on, but after a couple of years I noticed that 2 side branches were raising themselves like arms above the missing head. One was growing higher than the other, so I cut the lower one off and let the higher one continue to raise itself. Eventually it formed a new central trunk and the tree regained its proper shape. The tree is now (2021) over 20 m. tall and is the main feature of the 'Cool Garden'. It has been adopted by a pair of ring doves as their home: they nest and raise their chick there, sometimes pestered by magpies or starlings. Goldfinches like to claim the pinnacle in the spring to sing their love of life.
Lilac: I took cuttings from old bushes in the field opposite my house and used them to mark out the garden plan in the early stages. All have done well. This bush shades the steps between the top lawn and the Cool Garden.