Trees In The Garden

Antonio del Pollaiolo (1429/1433 – 1498)


Ah in the thunder air
how still the trees are!And the lime-tree, lovely and tall, every leaf silent
hardly looses even a last breath of perfume.And the ghostly, creamy coloured little tree of leaves
white, ivory white among the rambling greens
how evanescent, variegated elder, she hesitates on the green grass
as if, in another moment, she would disappear
with all her grace of foam!
And the larch that is only a column, it goes up too tall to see:
and the balsam-pines that are blue with the grey-blue blueness of
things from the sea,
and the young copper beech, its leaves red-rosy at the ends
how still they are together, they stand so still
in the thunder air, all strangers to one another
as the green grass glows upwards, strangers in the silent garden.


D.H. Lawrence

Chinese Red Pine

Artist unknown, Watercolour, 1812 - 1824

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 4:45 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

Study of a Tree Standing in Water

Johann Wilhelm Preyer (1803–1889)

Johann Wilhelm Preyer (1803–1889)

Roelandt Savery (1576 – buried 25 February 1639)



Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Du Bon Usage Des Arbres

lindenLinden Tree On A Bastion
Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528)



Frédéric Joignot, The Guardian

“Man is senescent, that is to say is programmed to die, but a plane tree is not,” says French botanist Francis Hallé. After its leaves have fallen, life begins again in the spring and the tree recovers its youthful genomes. If it is not subjected to accidents, diseases or humans, the plane tree could live for centuries.
The botanist knows of a 2,000-year-old olive tree in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur

Humans, with a mere 2 square metres of skin, underestimate the surface area of a tree. To calculate that you need to measure both sides of each leaf, add the surface of the trunk, the branches and boughs, the perennial and feeder roots and the absorbent root hairs, not forgetting the bark pockets. A 15-metre tree in leaf would cover a total area of 200 hectares, which is the size of Monaco. A tree doubles its weight when wet, and its entire surface breathes and allows us to breathe.

Hallé believes that arboreal photosynthesis is our best ally in the fight against global warming. Buffon’s plane tree, like all trees, absorbs quantities of carbon dioxide, responsible for greenhouse gases, and between 20% and 50% of matter produced by the tree, including wood, roots, leaves and fruit, is composed of CO2. When trees breathe they clean the atmosphere and retain CO2 and urban pollutants such as heavy metals, lead, manganese, industrial soot and nitrous oxide. These are stored in the wood. That is why we should refrain as much as possible from cutting down old trees. The older they are, the better they control pollutants.

At the same time, trees release oxygen that allows us to live. An adult human consumes about 700g of O2 per day, or 255kg per year. In that time, an average tree produces 15kg to 30kg, so about 10 trees are required to provide oxygen for one person. Trees also humidify and cool the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration. A wooded area of 50 square metres brings the temperature down by 3.5C and increases the humidity by 50%. Leaf movement, especially in conifers, releases negative ions that are supposed to have beneficial effects on health and mood.

Published in: on December 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

“They set great store by their gardeins,” Sir Thomas More

nonsuch (1)

Nonsuch Palace, Joris Hoefnagel, 1572


The name which stands out most conspicuously in connection
with landscape-gardening is that of Lancelot Brown. From his
habit of saying of any place he was asked to improve, or lay out
afresh, that it ” had great capabilities,” he became known by
the name of  “Capability Brown.”

He was born in Northumberland in 1715, and began as a
kitchen-gardener. It was not until he planned and executed
a lake for the Duke of Grafton  that he attempted any designing.
This brought him into notice and he was appointed
Royal Gardener at Hampton Court.

Soon he became the fashion, and was consulted by nearly everyone in England who had a garden of any consideration.
He laid out or altered in some way or the other half the gardens
in the country.

Had Brown confined himself to creating new landscapes
and gardens, posterity could not have borne such a
grudge against him. As it is, in studying the designs he carried
out, it is difficult to look with an unprejudiced eye at his work,
for before the results he produced can be admired,
one is filled with regret for the beauties he swept away.

Sir Uvedale Price described his pleasure on approaching
” a venerable castle-like mansion built in the beginning of the
fifteenth century,” through an avenue of fine old trees.
” I was much hurt,” he continues, ” to learn from the master of the
place, that I might take my leave of the avenue and its romantic
effects, for that its death-warrant was signed.”

Men had now begun to find out Brown’s mistakes,
and reflect on his destruction of old places and historical relics.

A History of Gardening in England
Alicia Amherst, 1895



The Knowledge of Vegetables

root-sectionRoot Section
“An Idea Of Phytological History Propounded, Together with a Continuation of The Anatomy of Vegetables, Particularly Prosecuted Upon Roots”, by Nehemiah Grew (1641 – 1712)

If we take into account of the degrees whereunto the knowledge of Vegetables is advanced, it appeareth that their Descriptions, Places, and Seaſons are with good preciſeneſs and curioſity ſet before us. Likewise, that we are informed of the Natures and infallible Faculties of many of them. Whereunto ſo many as have aſſiſted, have much obliged by their Poſterity.

By due reflection upon what they have performed, it alſo appears, what they have left is imperfect, and what undone. For the Vertues of many Vegetables are with much uncertainty, and too promiſcouſly aſcribed to them. And of the Vertues of many they are altogether ſilent. And although, for the finding out and just appropriation of them, they have left us some Rules, yet not all. The Deſcriptions likewise of many are yet to be perfected; as alſo their Draughts, eſpecially as to their Roots. And their proper ranks and affinities much undetermined. But for the Reaſon of Vegetation, and the Cauſes of all thoſe infinite varieties therein obſervable (I mean ſo far as matter, and the various affections hereof are inſtrumental thereto) almoſt all men have ſeemed to be unconcerned.

That nothing hereof remaineth further to be known, is a thought not well calculated. For if we consider how long and gradual a Journey the knowledge of Nature is, and how ſhort a time we have to proceed therein; as on the one hand, we ſhall conclude it our eaſe and profit to ſee how far others have gone before us: ſo ſhall we beware on the other, whilſt we have a juſt value for thoſe who were but her Diſciples and inſtructed by her. Their time and abilities both being ſhort to her, which as ſhe was firſt deſigned by Divine Wiſdom, ſo may her vaſt dimenſions beſt be judged of, in being compared therewith. It will therefore be our prudence, not to inſiſt upon the invidious queſtion, which of her Scholars have taken the faireſt meaſure of her; but to be well ſatiſfied, that as yet ſhe hath not be circumſcribed by any.

Nor doth it more behove us to conſider how much of the Nature of Vegetation may lie before us yet unknown, than to believe a great part thereof to be knowable: not concluding from acknowledged, much leſs ſupported inſucceſſfulneſs of any mens undertakings; but from what may be accounted poſſible as to the Nature of things themſelves; and from Divine Providence, by infinite ways conducting to the knowledge of them. Neither can we determine how great a part this may be; becauſe it is impoſſible to meaſure what we ſee not. And ſince we are most likely to under-meaſure, we ſhall hereby but intrench our endeavours, which we are not wont to carry beyond the Idea which we have of our Work.

And how far ſoever this kind of Knowledge be attainable, its being ſo far alſo worthy our attaintment will be granted. For beholding the many and elegant varieties wherewith a Field or Garden is adorned, who would not ſay, That it were exceeding pleaſant to know what we ſee; and not more delightful to one who has eyes, to diſcern that all is very fine; and to another who hath reaſon, to underſtand how. This ſurely were for a man to take a true Inventory of his Goods, and his beſt way to put a price upon them.

Yea it ſeems that this were not only to be partaker of Divine Bounty; but alſo, in ſome degree, to be Copartner in the Secrets of Divine Art.

Infinite thanks to BibliOdyssey for  beauty &  scholarship, to Paul Peacay for lucidity, discernment, and insight.

[Please see the ‘translation’ there:

“. . . . Despite the incredible abundance of plants in our environment, it remains baffling that most people don’t seem particularly disposed to learning more about them . . . . It’s fundamentally illogical to assume that the amount we know about plants at the moment is all that there is to be known. Mother nature has evolved over a long time in comparison to our relatively short period on earth so we are wise to have some regard for the observations passed on by our forebears . . . . We just don’t know how ignorant we are and there is no way to determine the magnitude of that deficit . . . .
Our destiny imposes a duty to achieve a balance with our environment that goes beyond mere exploitation.”

“… the apple draws the Earth, as well as the Earth draws the apple.” Isaac Newton

“Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians.”
John Maynard Keynes

Green Spires of Jerusalem

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 1:31 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,