Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) on the Wharf a few weeks ago

Here are some more images from my lunchtime walk around the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) alongside Cardiff County Hall. This time the focus is on the water birds and the waterside bushes. Continue Reading »


Red stems and leaf-buds


Finally it’s make-my-mind-up time – I have chosen a tree to follow in 2018. I’m not totally convinced by my choice, but I was attracted by its red leaf-buds.

Not that there weren’t other trees on my shortlist. Last autumn I was convinced I would follow one of the many champion trees in Cardiff’s Bute Park. See the guide leaflet here.

I even had the champion tree map on my mobile phone and had chosen a likely candidate, quite near the front entrance of the park for convenience. Continue Reading »


Trees are everywhere – but I don’t think I will be following these, in the middle of a traffic roundabout


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month.

To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

In milder areas there are signs of spring, which would also be a good time to start following a tree through the seasons.

If you are thinking of joining us for the first time, read all about the idea here.


The trees are vying for our attention

We always love to read your news – so thank you to everyone who contributed this month. Here are their links…

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince

Flighty’s Plot – Mike’s medlars and Liz’s black walnut

Lucy Corrander in Halifax – alder

Annie – Acer pictum or Acer mono

Erika Groth in Sweden – bird cherry

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) – boxelder (Acer negundo) and whatever’s nearby

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Pat – Squirrelbasket – First find your tree

Thank you to everyone for taking part – see you all again on March 7!


Beautiful seeds of Buddleia on the edge of the Wharf in Cardiff Bay

I have now discovered that I can walk all the way around the old East Bute Dock that runs alongside my new workplace at Cardiff’s County Hall. And I now know what everyone calls this rectangular pool of water – the Wharf. I had been calling it the dock or the pond or the lake, none of which seemed to be accurate.

It takes me half an hour to walk all the way around – or an hour if I take my camera with me. Last week I spent my lunch-hour there and took more than 100 pictures. So I won’t dump them all on you at once. Firstly, and particularly for Lucy Corrander, I will focus on what would be “street plants” if this were a street. Some are totally wild and native, some are urban escapees. Continue Reading »

Here is my first round-up of tree news articles from around the world in 2018. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

50 million trees to be planted in the North


In early January the UK Government announced that an English Northern Forest of 50 million trees is to be planted between Liverpool and Hull – the Telegraph reports…

A helping hand for Tufty


A project to reintroduce red squirrels to their old forest homes in the Scottish Highlands is being carried out by the Trees For Life charity, says MailOnline…

Continue Reading »


The books I read in 2017 – click on the image to see a bigger version in which you might actually be able to read the titles!

It has now been a year since I “signed up” for the Reading Challenge on Shaz’s Jera’s Jamboree blog. It’s a way of getting out of your comfort zone of always reading the same sorts of books.

Over the course of 2016 to 2018 I am planning to tick off EVERY box in each section of the challenge. I am logging my progress here.

Firstly you will notice at the top of this post an image of all the books I read in 2017 – not as many as I would like. I tend to read my Kindle on the bus and my long journeys to work ceased when I was made redundant in April! Continue Reading »


The end of the year for the 100 elms, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’, in Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields – with next year’s buds waiting…


It’s time to say goodbye to the avenue of 100 disease-resistant elms, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ in Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields.

I visited for the last time on Christmas Day, when the trees were more or less the same as when I first chose them to follow just under a year ago.

Next month I will choose a new tree for 2018, but here I will look back with fondness on the year of the 100 elms… Continue Reading »