I love trees, I don’t know why, perhaps it’s their great size or longevity, I just know I’ve always been intrigued by them. I can remember as a child sowing apple pips, orange pips, acorns, conkers, sycamore keys and the like just to see what I could grow.

Needless to say my success rate was pretty poor, particularly with the fruit, though I do know I once managed to grow a sycamore and an oak tree just outside the back door of the kitchen. To my horror these were pulled up by our neighbour, (as I later found out with my dad’s permission) whilst we were away on holiday one year. I never quite forgave either of them for that, though I can see now why they did.

This arboreal fascination has stayed with me into adulthood and I continued to sow things I found. My technique must have improved because soon I found myself with several small trees in pots. One horsechestnut, a couple each of sycamore, rowan, beech and laburnum, plus numerous oak trees. These were joined later by two scots pines donated by my sister. I lovingly potted them up each year until I couldn’t realistically go any further, and so that’s how they stayed for year after year, in pots.

When we bought this house, it was always our intention to plant some trees, but we didn’t actually want to plant a wood and we wanted a wider species variety than I could provide from my collection. We planted the beeches, scots pines, one rowan, the horsechestnut and a couple of oaks, but all the rest were spare, about a dozen trees in all. I continued to care for these spare trees, but it was obvious they weren’t going to thrive or prosper stuck in their pots.

To cut a long story short, my sister and her husband decided to move to Scotland, and whilst they were house hunting they made friends with a couple, who did want to plant a wood. It wasn’t long before my trees were travelling with my sister all the way to Scotland, where they were planted out by her friends and the last I heard they were thriving. I was so pleased that at long last they had found a proper home.

Back in our garden, we spent a long time planning the tree planting and choosing which ones to buy. We decided to get them by mail order, I think we ordered about 75 in total, but that did included a lot of small beech plants for making a small hedge around the garage. I can still remember the day they arrived, the van pulled up and we were handed a long thin parcel, we waited for him to give us the next one and the next, but that was it, all our trees were in this small tube. We were amazed, not to say a little worried.

Looking at them now many years later, it’s hard to believe they were once so small. A few didn’t make it, we’re quite exposed here, but the majority did, and the sense of pleasure I get from watching the birds fly in and among them is just immense. Imagine if you will the day they make a nest in one for the first time, I’ll just be made up.