David Garnier, the head horticulturalist from the Portland Botanical Gardens, knows a thing or two about trees. On a walk through the Portland Botanical Gardens he pointed out a giant Canadian Redwood tree and asked me how old it was? I thought maybe 5 or 10 years, given its height, and he said over 40 years old. Later on he mentioned something which I will call ‘treetime’. He talked of trees having a different relationship to time. For instance it might take a tree 10 years to heal from an illness where a person might recover in days or weeks.
Mr Garnier took the walk to a beautiful old Copper Beech tree, about 100 years old, near the croquet lawns. He said you could eat the nuts, of which I was completely unaware. I thought they were very tasty.
So in honour of tree-time I am initiating a small project to celebrate and get to know the rare and beautiful trees at the Portland Botanical Gardens. Call it a kind of tree dating if you will. I will spend time drawing a tree, in watercolour, on a world map playing card, each week til I have 52 trees.