Thursday 30 January 2014

Mourning the loss

We've had storms like never before recently and it prompted us to take a close look at some of the big trees in the garden. Most of them were here when we moved in over 25 years ago. They've become old friends - sentinels that we imagined would be there long after we're gone. The enormously tall beech have had a bit of a haircut but were declared sound.

Sadly the diagnosis wasn't so great for everything - we were told that three of our ancient cherry trees had to go. They were unsafe and should be cut down before they fell down. We shall miss the blossom come spring.

This is all that's left of one of them after a brutal few hours with a chainsaw. There's more to go so the garden will look worse before it gets better. On the positive side, the log store will soon be full again!

They say wood keeps you warm twice - once when you log it and again when you burn it. These fellows looked warm enough with all the exertion!

You can see why they had to go - the centre of the trunk was like sponge.

Of course, beautiful as the blossom is it's the fruit that we will miss the most.

Look good enough to eat don't they? Some years, if we could beat the squirrels and blackbirds to it,  we'd have so much fruit I'd make jam.

Of course they also turned up in my sketchbook on many occasions. So it's sad to see them go but it's opened up the view and made such a lot of space. Things have to change in a garden and often for the better! The tree surgeon is coming again in a day or two to make a start in the orchard. I'm assured scabby old apple and pear trees can be rejuvenated so with luck they may live to fight another day.

Meanwhile, back in the studio I'm busy getting pieces finished for various exhibitions and shows that will be upon us before we can blink. You know how it is, you book things sometimes years in advance but the day inevitably dawns when you need to be ready. It's important to prioritise to avoid sleepless nights and general panic! The first event on the radar is Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the National Exhibition Centre in March. It's a lovely show - one of our favourites because the exhibitions and stands are so varied.

This is one end of our stand last year. We had to battle deep snow and ice to get there each day - fingers crossed this year will be mild and springlike! We'll be demonstrating a variety of techniques and will have the embroidery machine set up and doing its brilliantly creative thing so if you can get to Birmingham please come and see what we're up to or just to say hello. 

Thanks for dropping by - Linda


  1. Sad to lose those lovely trees but the grain of the wood looks beautiful. I need two apple trees in my garden to be rejuvinated .... who is your tree surgeon?

  2. Hi Clare - I'll ask if he has a card when he comes on Saturday. I know he's booked up for weeks so you may have to be patient!

  3. Its always sad to have to cut down trees.
    The South West Textile Group will be having a stand at the NEC in March, if I am stewarding I would love to come and say hello, do you have a stand number?

  4. I had to do that this summer. While I hated to loose a few sentinels in the yard, when the big winds hit this fall/winter, I wasn't awake all night watching to see if they would come down on the house. Perhaps a local woodworker would take some of the wood to make bowls/boxes to further the memories. (I know my late father would have been on the first plane when he saw cherry wood.) I so wish I could jump on the plane, too and go to the NEC!

  5. So sad to lose cherry trees! They are so beautiful. We had to have many trees destroyed after fires a few years ago and it was hard, but they were dangerous after being damaged, so I understand where you are coming from. Make sure Laura takes some photos of the wood for fingerprint!

  6. It is so sad to loose a tree - they give us so much with beauty and structure in the garden, shade and fruit - and they literally leave a big gap when they are gone. When we lost a tree, my grandfather, a hobby woodworker, turn some of it into bowls, lamp stands and boxes. The wood grain was incredible. It all split after several years, because they wood was not properly seasoned, but that only added character to the pieces.
    Good luck at the NEC
    Hilary Florence

  7. I can see I'm not alone in how I feel about old trees! Fortunately we have a lot of them and the gaps will soon be filled. My father was a wood turner too and I have two of his lathes stored in the garage. I kept them for sentimental reasons when he died - I couldn't bear to get rid of them at the time. Now I wish I knew someone who could make use of them! I know my dad would have loved to turn some of the fruitwood.

  8. Hi Debbie - I'm not sure of our stand number off the top of my head but I do know we are in the colleges and demonstrations area of the hall. I don't expect we'll be hard to find so please do come and say hello. BTW good luck with your stand, I'll look forward to seeing it!

  9. Do you subscribe to any other websites about this? I'm struggling to find other reputable sources like yourself

    Tree Surgeon Peterborough

  10. Hi Amela - I'm not sure what info it is you're asking for. Let me know and I'll do my best to help.