At this time of year, I hover over my bonsai collection like a mother hen, watching and waiting for the long-awaited signs of the new growth that would mean a new year has begun for them.
Most years they all return, bursting into life with enthusiasm.
There have been a few disappointments, like the time the frost was so severe it killed several of my charges.
Or when some obscure tree disease strikes, and a tree sadly dies.
I was inspecting them all this morning, pleased that most of them were on the move, when my eye came to rest on one such afflicted tree that suffered badly two years ago. Only the disease hadn’t killed the whole tree, just half of it.
I bought this tree as a small shrub from a garden centre, attracted by the almost black colour of the finely cut foliage. I had never seen one quite like it before and although it wasn’t yet a bonsai, I was sure we could create magic together.
When the disease struck, I thought I would eventually lose the tree altogether but every year it grows stronger. It is a most unusual shape but its desire to grow and grow well somehow has me rooting for it.
I have some very good trees, well worthy of being called bonsai but also have a motley collection of oddities. I call them bonsai in training but in all honesty, will probably never be good enough for that distinction. They come from just about everywhere, from the garden or seeds dropped by the birds. Some I don’t even know their name but love the look of them.
I may be a perfectionist in other things but not where Nature and all growing things are concerned. As one of her biggest fans, I love everything she does, no matter how odd or unusual.
She does her best to be perfect and that’s good enough for me…
©Jaye Marie 2020
Although we live in a town, it isn’t an inner-city town. Tucked behind the South Downs in Hampshire, we are just 19 miles from the sea.
An ordinary town really, rows of streets spreading out from the town centre with all manner of shops and businesses. The local council keep it tidy and provide us with well-kept trees, bushes and green areas.
Sometimes, if you know where to look, you can find something special here, something that doesn’t quite belong. Hidden among the sprawling streets, small treasures can be found. Little rivers emerge unexpectedly, creating a magical atmosphere. ( I have recently found another such treasure. Post to follow…)
We have such an oddity in our back garden.
We all have trees and bushes in our gardens, but we have a giant gum tree. Far taller than our house, it dwarfs every tree for miles around.
It seems so much supple than other trees and maybe this has something to do with it being a gum tree. The leaves smell faintly of eucalyptus and it has such a graceful way of moving with the wind.
I watch this tree most mornings as I wait for my brain to warm up, but this morning we had the aftermath of Storm Eric. The wind was fierce, so the view from my window was dramatic. Strong gusts tried to break the tree, viciously pushing and shoving until I thought one would give way. But the branches were so supple they simply danced away, ducking and weaving like a Whirling Dervish until the wind abated.
We could learn a lot from trees. Most of them have been here longer than we have and will remain long after we have gone. They survive, I think because they simply do what they were born to do and they do it well. They take what comes in their stride (so to speak) patiently waiting for the seasons to change or the wind to stop blowing.
A lesson for us all there, I think…
Yesterday morning, we were in the office working when Anita’s attention was drawn by what looked like a moving leaf on the path outside our window.
Nothing strange about that, I thought but she had to check it out anyway.
Turned out to be a slightly ragged and battered Peacock butterfly. He was staggering around and seemed quite weak, so we lifted him to the table and supplied him with some sugar water.
This seemed to do the trick and he eventually flew away. I wondered how he had become so ragged, as the weather was calm. Maybe he was the kind of butterfly that hibernated, which might explain his condition.
When I googled it, I discovered that Peacock butterflies do hibernate, so mystery solved!
Later on that day, I was confronted by another Peacock butterfly. This time on Sam Allen’s website, Peacock Poetry.
I don’t believe in coincidences, do you?
©Jaye Marie 2020