Red flowers on the 100 elms Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ in Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff


As I mentioned last month, this year I am following an avenue of 100 disease-resistant elms, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’, in Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff. I visited on February 24 and was delighted to see there were plenty of little red flowers. They are apetalous – they have no petals – as they are wind pollinated and don’t need to be attractive to insects.

The flowers have both male and female structures (stamens and carpels), so they are hermaphroditic (other words are androgynous, monoclinous, synoecious). Continue Reading »


This is a maple of some sort close to the 100 elm trees I am following this year…


The March tree-following link box is now closed, but below are the links tree followers have shared this month.

If you are new to tree following, read all about it here. Why not join us? There’s no rush, you can join in at any time – although spring is a good choice – and you don’t really have to do it every single month if that’s too much.

Mike – Flighty’s Plot – dogwood (Cornus)

June – The Cynical Gardener – an apple-grafting special

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince

Erika Groth in Sweden – rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) – and a lovely little video of the Grand Rapid

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) – a fossil palm has some fishy friends

Pat – Squirrelbasket – red elm flowers

John Kingdon – The Rivendell Garden Blog – time for a pedicure

Thank you to everyone – see you all again on April 7, and maybe some new people, too!


Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden trilogy – the UK book covers – Dark Eden (pub 2012), Mother of Eden (2015) and Daughter of Eden (October 2016)

Sometimes I encounter SUCH a good book that I feel I must tell everyone to read it! This does not happen very often these days but I have just finished reading Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden trilogy on my Kindle, while riding on the bus to and from work. I couldn’t get enough of the world Beckett has created and polished off all three books in just over a month. Continue Reading »


A big branch was stripped from this horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, in late February

It must be the time of year – in February 2016 Storm Imogen felled a couple of trees in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff (see my blog post here), and this time Storm Doris brought the strong winds – although luckily we did not have it as bad here in South Wales as those in the north of the country.

However, we did have some small tree losses and this horse chestnut in Llandaff Fields lost a big bough. Continue Reading »

Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Opposition to Scottish tree-planting scheme


Gamekeepers and mountaineers oppose a major tree-planting plan, says the Guardian…

– but writer says you can’t have too many trees


In a comment piece, Patrick Barkham disagrees with the opponents of the Scottish tree planting…

Continue Reading »


The red dragon of Wales at the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992

I can’t believe that 2017 sees the 25th anniversary of the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival that brought two million visitors to Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales.

The festival lasted six months, from May until October and transformed a derelict industrial wasteland into a blossoming landscape nearly two miles long. Continue Reading »


At first these were mystery trees…


All can now be revealed. After weeks of searching for a new tree to follow for 2017, I have made my decision.

Along the way I have encountered many characterful trees. There were other trees in Llandaff Fields, like my first tree, the hornbeam. There were other trees in Bute Park, like my second tree, the Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa). There were other trees in Thompson’s Park, like last year’s oak, The Pigeon Tree.

But part of the fun is exploring a different field or park every year. That’s why I went walking in the Blackweir area along the River Taff in Cardiff. Continue Reading »