Alder leaves (‎Alnus glutinosa) against a backdrop of the silky waters of the Wharf

The catkins are dying away now and the leaves are sprouting on the shrubby waterside trees around the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) next to our office in Cardiff’s County Hall.

I went out for a walk at lunchtime on April 26 to take these pictures – and was pleased to find that my earlier identification of many of the species seems to have been correct. Continue Reading »


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

One man’s arboreal picture quest


New York photographer Brian Kelley is on a mission to chronicle the champion trees of the USA, reports Atlas Obscura…

Korean leaders plant a tree for peace


Xinhua reports on a commemorative event to plant a pine tree, hoping for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula…

Continue Reading »


I think this beauty is a Scilla peruviana – on the Harts Nursery stand at Cardiff Show – they specialise in all sorts of lily bulbs (www.hartsnursery.co.uk)

We usually go to the annual Cardiff RHS Flower Show and this year it was from April 13 to April 15 in the grounds of Cardiff Castle. I thoroughly enjoyed it – especially as I had felt so low last year after being made redundant that I couldn’t even be bothered to take pictures.

This time I took my camera again and here are some of my favourite things… Continue Reading »


A few yards from my linden tree on the Wharf is this sign – which suggests you mustn’t run off with a fish under your arm or cook and eat one here


Well, spring has officially arrived, but the weather in Cardiff is still a little chilly and sometimes wet.

Better temperatures are promised but for now my linden tree (Tilia) alongside the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) seems stuck in late winter. There is no sign of the buds opening yet.

When I visited this week I found it impossible to get right up close to take pictures as there were anglers parked alongside it. Continue Reading »


An impressive but unidentified tree in front of Cardiff’s County Hall, where I now work – I suspect it could be a birch but only spring and summer will reveal all…


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.

It is still unseasonably chilly here in South Wales and signs of spring are patchy, but we are told the weather is turning milder and we hope we have seen the end of the late snow. Best of all, I heard the first chiff-chaff (Phylloscopus collybita) in the garden on Monday, April 9.

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

This first one came in a bit late, but Lucy used to run the tree-following link box and her tree is super, so I forgive her…
Loose and Leafy in Halifax – alder

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince

Erika Groth in Sweden – bird cherry

Lea’s Menagerie in Mississippi – possibly a maple

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

Annie – Cardiff – Acer mono

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

Pat – Squirrelbasket – small-leaved linden

Andrew – Botany in Birmingham – magnolia

See you all again on May 7!

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


Strangely yellow Buddleia davidii leaves among stonecrop (possibly Sedum acre) beside the Wharf

I am thoroughly enjoying my lunchtime explorations of a new habitat this year – the Wharf (the old East Bute Dock) next to Cardiff’s County Hall in the Bay. As spring arrives there are so many little wild plants coming to life on the stone and concrete surfaces around the water, making do with whatever nutrients there are in hollows and cracks (or nooks and crannies, if you prefer the cliché). In some ways these little beauties remind me of those found in an alpine habitat. Continue Reading »


Catkins of alder (Alnus glutinosa) on the Wharf – I love the way the water looks like silk

Several of my colleagues at work are suffering from hay fever at the moment, and I wonder if that is partly because of the pollen from alders and other catkin-producing trees around the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) next to our office in Cardiff’s County Hall.

I went out one lunchtime this week to take some pictures of the catkins and other early signs of spring. By the way, I expect you knew that the word catkin means “little cat” or kitten, because the inflorescence looks like a kitten’s tail. Continue Reading »