Tuesday, 24 March 2009
This group of ash trees stands beyond the meadow at the end of my garden. The earliest photograph was taken in the mid-1980s when there were six trees. I think the gales of 1987 took the tree on the right away, and in the last few years another tree has been steadily leaning into its neighbour. In the snowy picture you can just make out the roof of a barn between the two trees on the left. That, too, was damaged in 1987 and subsequently demolished.
The ash trees make my garden what it is because of the way they frame the northern landscape with those arches between their trunks. Everyone who walks through the hedge into the back garden exclaims at the view, but it's the trees that turn a straight horizon into a series of windows and draw your eye to the narrow band below the horizon where you can see distant marshes, windmills, churches and villages. You can even see wind turbines flashing in the sunlight a dozen miles away on the coast.
I like to think that I live on a hill. Even if it's only 30 metres above sea level I have the comfort of knowing that there's no higher land between me and the North Pole!