Drained and sitting weakly by the window, I hear the drone of aircraft returning to their bases from the Fairford Airshow. Too high to see, yet they fascinate me with their power and the skill of their crew. The washing machine is rattling in the background, an unbalanced load of sheets and towels, detritus from my weekend sickness.
I feel the cleansing warm breeze waft through the open door, cooling me down and I hear the maple tree shiver to the chinking of delicate chimes. That tree is my pride and joy, a foliate friend, a deciduous delight. At 12 feet tall it is unbridled and bushy. Grown from first generation seed gathered at Westonbirt, it’s not like those at garden centres. This is a thoroughbred tree, the debutante of the Acer world, a Palmatum in its prime. I’ve nurtured it for 8 years since it started to grow in a humble yoghurt pot in the dark. It progressed to a plant pot on the windowsill then a tub on the patio. At three, petite and pretty, it seemed perfectly happy in its miniature world.
By the time we moved house some years ago I was so attached to it that it had to move with us. I felt it was ready for its own space in the earth. I was careful to plant it in a sheltered spot as Acers hate wind on their leaves. And judging by how it has thrived, it seems to have found its niche. At the moment it has seeds on it, like miniature sycamore wings, and masses of new branches which form arches and tunnels. My grandson, Stanley, loves to hide among the branches. I know he’s there of course as I can see his little truck sticking out but I still have to call out in a worried voice,
“Stanley where are you…?”
He instantly appears giggling every time. It’s adorable.
I’ve had to sacrifice a conservatory for my maple tree as I couldn’t bear to risk damaging the roots by digging foundations So my maple and I will just have to sit together in our shady spot growing old together. But it is worth it just to look forward to autumn when it will be glowing red and gold. Stunning
If you want to see some beautiful Acers at Westonbirt just click on this link to a previous post
How lovely. The reference to the airshow touched me as I lost my father in WWII when I was 3 months old. He flew a B-24 out of Norwich (I think that was it). And of course, the doxie. The tree also is beautiful.
Ah I hope it didn’t make you sad. Your father must have been a brave man to fly those. My uncle died in Burma during WW11 when my aunty was expecting her baby so he never knew he had a son. They were dreadful times.
You would have loved the airshow and it would have made you so proud of your dad’s achievements.
Oh, the love for a maple tree! When we moved I had to leave mine behind. Mine, was a gift, and it was a miniature Japanese maple. I loved it so very much. I’m sure I loved it more than we’re supposed to love trees, however, the foliage kept me mesmerized, especially in autumn. The new owners cut it down; which broke my heart. There was no way for me to have it transplanted here though because of the root system.
Thank you for sharing this, as it has brought back colorful memories for me that I greatly appreciate. I’m glad that you were able to carry this maple with you on your move. Your story of this one tree is beautiful. The pictures you linked to were absolutely beautiful!
Oh I am so glad I’m not the only one who knows the love of a maple tree. Most people appreciate trees and get attached to the ancient specimens. But like you I actually love MY tree! I must admit to sometimes telling it how beautiful it is. My husband has tentatively said maybe its time to trim it back or shape it ~ heaven forbid! As long as I’m around that tree can grow wild and free any way it wants ~ just like my grandson.
Thanks for reading and commenting x
I could not help the smile that came when I read, “I must admit to sometimes telling it how beautiful it is.” – I do the same to my plants, and I understand that it is supposed to be healthy for them to hear. Now, I have no proof that it helps our beloved trees and plants live longer, but what does it hurt? They’re gorgeous and they should know it! x
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I enjoyed reading the history of your lovely tree. It’s easy to get attached to a life we’ve nurtured along. Before we moved from a home we’d been at for 18 years I went around and said goodbye to all the trees we’d planted. Two magnolias came with us since they were in large planters. I still think of those trees. There are so many trees at our new place that it’s just as well I couldn’t bring the whole family.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
Ah Wendy I feel for you. Miss my old mature garden with its shrubs, trees and summerhouse! I try to make this garden nice but it defeats me, but I do love my maple x
I really can’t complain since the lady who lived here before us had a son who loved to landscape and also worked for a company that did. He planted over a dozen Japanese Maples, here, many years ago. After living here for almost 5 years it’s becoming our place since we’ve added so many details. Former gardens are like offspring that we will always love. ❀