Top Hat Snowman (and robin) Christmas card for St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care in Sunderland – click on the image to go to the charity’s website

After a hectic few weeks writing Christmas cards and letters and buying gifts, it’s time to sit back and admire all the cards we have received this year. Here are just a few of the designs that caught my eye. As usual, click on the image to go to the source – mostly charities. Continue Reading »


The branches of the linden tree beside The Wharf in Cardiff Bay in February this year


Every year I put together a round-up of images of the seasons of the tree I am following, but sometimes I do this in December and sometimes January.

This time I am choosing December as the small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) I am following beside The Wharf in Cardiff Bay has shut down for winter and in January it will be time to move on and consider another tree to visit during 2019.

I’m not sure the linden I have followed has been as spectacular as my previous choices, listed at the end of this blog post, but this species is so common on the streets of Cardiff that it merited some attention.

For the record, here are some of my images from 2018… Continue Reading »


The weather has been so depressing that I haven’t taken my camera out for a walk for weeks – so this is an iPhone picture of wet beech leaves outside my office, which I took yesterday


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.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here.

In Cardiff it seems we have had nothing but miserable rain for weeks and as I don’t drive a car I am growing tired of standing around at wet bus stops.

I’m not sure which is worse, the light horizontal rain that gets under your umbrella or the heavy rain with gale-force winds which mean you can’t use an umbrella anyway. I wonder what the weather is like where you are and how your tree is looking?

For some people it is time to consider what tree you will follow in 2019. I have drawn up my own shortlist and I know some of you have already chosen your subject.

Our ranks of tree followers are growing all the time, so why not join them next time? Point us to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box published on the 7th of each month and lasting for a week.

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

Erika Groth in Sweden – goodbye to the bird cherry and hello to next year’s tree

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – Quince in December

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) – boxelder (Acer negundo) – “Trees know when history begins”

Lea’s Menagerie in Mississippi – red maple

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

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s black walnut in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s medlars

Pat – Squirrelbasket – small-leaved linden

Not quite tree following but welcome anyway:

Jaipur Garden in India – colourful flowers enjoy the unexpected chill

Thank you to everyone for taking part – see you all again on January 7 – a whole new year – oh my!

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.

Wanaka tree is star of Instagram


A partially submerged willow tree standing alone in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand, has become an Instagram celebrity – See The South Island finds out what all the fuss is about…

Picture contest celebrates oaks


Check out all the winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year Action Oak competition. This is Oak Sunrise by Alan Price…

Continue Reading »

The Wharf in November


Ripening fruit seen during my walk around the Wharf (former Bute East Dock) in Cardiff on November 20 – I have been calling this dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) but I am still not totally convinced

It has now become my habit to go for a walk around the Wharf (former Bute East Dock) at least once a month to document the plants. The darker days are here but I am still finding plenty in nature to brighten my day.


Mahonia is one of my favourite winter plants…

Continue Reading »


Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) on the Wharf in Cardiff Bay, November 20, 2018

There was a pleasant surprise on my monthly walk around the Wharf (former East Bute Dock) in Cardiff Bay this week. It was a very cold day with watery sunshine breaking through.

As I walked along the far side from my offices in County Hall I saw this grey heron (Ardea cinerea) quietly standing on the edge of a nesting platform provided for the wildfowl. The Wharf is full of carp and other fish, so this is a good place for a heron. Continue Reading »


The blue BayBus – a long bendy bus – heading down Lloyd George Avenue towards Cardiff Bay

It is now nearly a year since I started working in Cardiff Bay and every day my bus ride takes me down Lloyd George Avenue, a broad, mile-long road linking the city centre and the bay.

For many months I had been meaning to walk the tree-lined avenue but it is only now in autumn that I have finally made the effort – hoping to identify the trees before the last leaves fall and identification becomes difficult again.


The red pin marks the middle of Lloyd George Avenue – click on the image to explore – with thanks to Google Maps

Continue Reading »