Sometimes when I wake in the night, instead of counting sheep I recall the number of trees I have planted in my garden since moving here just over two years ago – I make it 27 so far. I started off with a couple of apple trees and then a pear. I bought a Prunus ‘Accolade’ for its blossom, and crab apple ‘Royalty’ for my next-door neighbour’s bullfinches, in case when they strip all the buds off his they are still hungry. There followed a multi-stemmed birch for the front garden, three hawthorn trees and another birch (Betula ‘Golden Beauty’) for the back, then I remembered how much I missed the crabapple ‘Golden Hornet’ I had in my last garden… and I have always wanted a quince tree, so one of those (Cydonia ‘Champion’) was ordered.
Last autumn I decided the previous owner’s chicken run at the rear of the garden, being an area of about 16ft deep by 40ft wide and in deep shade, was the perfect spot for a small copse of my favourite birch trees. Last winter I purchased fifteen of them. They are young saplings, but I will enjoy watching them grow from the garden shed ‘office’ built at one end of the new wood. That is where I am now, watching four chaffinches, a pair of blackbirds, a robin and a wood pigeon feeding on the seeds that I scatter under the trees for them each morning, when I really should be working.