January 27 2012

The Ups and Downs of Living with Trees

— Knapp House

The Ups and Downs of Living with Trees

Fallen Giant

A century of natures' investment came to an end at Knapp House on Sunday.  With a crack like gunfire and a groan, the huge Cedar tree that marked the boundary between the formal garden and the meadow beyond came crashing to the ground squashing the fruit trees newly planted just a few weeks ago.  Surprisingly I am much more upset about the loss of the old than I am about the destruction of the new ,so lovingly planted and staked as my investment for the future.

It has taken over a hundred years for this glorious specimen to flourish.  It has been watered by the soft Exmoor rains, encouraged to the light by bright spring days.  It's sweeping black green branches have swept the ground decorated with the first snows of winter and it has swayed and bent in the autumn gales. 

I am aware that someone over a hundred years ago planted this tree, making the same investment in this garden as I did with my medlars and quince and that it won't be replaced in my lifetime and probably not in my daughters' either.    

So although I know practically that an extraordinarily wet winter and endless storms are probably to blame  there is something so sad about losing something so precious and I confess to tears seeing this majestic piece of natures architect just unable to stand up any longer.