Friday, 25 April 2014

Allotment Heartache

I lost my most favourite tree and maybe my favourite plant on the plots last week; my precious cherry tree 'Stella'. I adored it. It wasn't a great shape as Andrew had trained it into a fan but after being moved last year it was thriving, I knew it would be happy and we would get fruit this summer...

The cherry blossom image is very important to me as a sign of hope and of the fragility, the fleeting nature of life. I have one tattooed on my wrist and even called my business Cherry Blossom Tattoo (on hiatus). Just look at the abundance of blossom here...


This was the bed I attacked with such gusto that I couldn't stop until it was cleared one weekend in March. Andrew was annoyed with me as I completely burnt myself out. But as I wrote later that day I was using that clearing 'as a desperate attempt to use my negative thoughts and internal anger for a good purpose...'constructive desconstruction' is a phrase I often use, I don't know how I came up with it, but it couldn't have been more true today'.

I was trying to save that tree and give it the life it deserved and in a very literal sense (in my muddled mind) I was trying to do the same for me.


Well here she is at the bottom of the field, hacked up to bits and never to be put back together. I feel very embarrassed to say this but I sat down there and grieved a while. It was like losing a part of me and having a dream smashed into many bits. 

I guess I don't talk about things like this often, but allotmentherapy for me isn't about the rotation system of even planting seeds - it's about the wonder of watching plants grow and tending to them, protecting them and most importantly, having a connection with them. It all sounds very hippy dippy but that's me I suppose.



So here she is....missing, gone...

I am getting a new one, it must be a 'Stella' and it must live a full life where I can watch and find peace its nobbly branches, those buds and that blossom! If I'm lucky maybe in years to come it will come to fruit for me. Plus I am getting a white climber for the fruit arch - of course I ran it by Andrew but it was happening!

So for me I have to end on a note of beauty or I'll get all sad again, despite all the other glorious seedlings and plants we have and the progress made that same weekend.

I made an 'Ode to Spring' with a load of things from the hedgerow behind our shed and two glorious blossom heavy branches of my old tree....


Much love and many hugs
Carrie
x

21 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about your tree. It was a beauty and you had so much enjoyment watching it grow and blossom. May your next 'Stella' do as well and better for you. And you've phrased it beautifully -- it's the reveling in growing things, it's not about yield or efficiency.

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    1. Yes! You get it. It is fabulous to be able to grow food and flowers etc and share your wholesdo me bounty with loved ones, but there is so much to be said for growing plants for the simple pleasure of their existence. To watch something thrive...particularly trees, is so rewarding and calming to the soul. Xxxx

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  2. :( I'm sorry you lost your cherry tree (sounds so rude no matter how I write it) I lost a lot of my garden favs the other year in all the snow.

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    1. Oh my goodness I love your name and avatar!! Eek! So cool.
      Haha, lost my cherry...tree, *blush*
      So sorry you lost so many favs, it truly is heartbreaking. Thank you for your comment.
      Xx

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  3. My wee apple tree has only been with me since last October but I would be devastated if she died so I really feel for you. I hope the new Stella will be as vibrant and lovely as you are my dear:)

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  4. Thank you Jenny! Of course you would understand, you're lovely! xxx
    Sorry I haven't gotten round to thanking you for your last comment. That blackout =a good night!!
    Hugs!

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  5. Oh, I'm so sorry, what happened to the tree? Was it vandalised? Must have been gutting.
    We had a similar loss recently - when we visited our allotment after the storms earlier this year, we found our old eating apple had fallen over. Some of the roots had snapped but a few seemed still connected so, with the help of a friend, we righted the tree, pruned it hard to remove some of the weight (which had caused it to topple - it had been very badly pruned in the past allowing it to get quite lopsided in the heavier branches) and propped it up and hoped for the best. When the buds started on it (and the other apple, the cooker) we had high hopes. But my mum cautioned that sometimes a tree that has recently died can still bud because of nutrients still stored in the trunk and branches. It looks now like this must surely be the case, as there are no leaves, just a few buds at the very tips of some branches. The other trees are firmly leafing and budding and buds opening.
    The only positive is that we did at least buy and plant two small apple trees last year, though they are tiny and may take some years before giving us fruit.
    Our fallen tree gave us about 30 kilos a couple of years back, just one tree!

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    1. Oh Kavey that's sad, I'm sorry that it has had a rough time of it. Doesn't sound 100% positive for its outlook.
      My husband cut down the tree and removed it, it was in the wrong place and as I said in the post, I really didn't explain how much it meant to me. He hasn't even his phone with him so I couldn't do anything.
      No longer shall he go to my Lottie plots alone, haha.

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  6. I was wondering the same thing as Kavey. I am feeling bad enough as our nectarine is starting with peach leaf curl again - so Brordeaux mix didn't work!

    We have a Stella in a pot in the garden - it seems to be a good choice,

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    1. You may remember we lost our pears and plums last year to some sickness. Leaf curl and alienated fruits. The leaves all started to get black spots too :( Sad times xxx

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  7. I so understand how you feel about your tree. I mourn the loss of any living thing that I have nurtured from the beginning. We lost a beautiful purple lilac tree one year, blown down in a storm - heartbreaking. But I even had a little weep the other day when a healthy courgette plant that I had grown from seed was pulled out of the ground and left to die by big fat greedy pigeons.

    We have a Stella cherry tree that we bought about 3 or 4 years ago and she has moved house with us twice. Hopefully this is now her permanent home where she can make good strong roots and survive. Lynda xxx

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    1. Oh no! I do think it so sad that nature plays games with us, bloody wind and pigeons!
      Your Stella should be fine in its new home, it does take a wee while to settle but as long as that soil is welcoming those roots will spread out and all will be well :)

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  8. How sad to lose your favourite tree. I like that last picture. Flighty xx

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    1. That last photo does lift my spirits, going to get that one printed. Thanks Flighty xxxx

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  9. Such a shame about your lovely tree. I've often wondered if Stella is a good variety, now I know it is. I do hope you're able to get another one. I feel very attached to my little fruit trees as well. I get quite cross when footballs break them. And I like to stand and watch the ones that I have released into the allotment. They are loving being in the ground instead of in pots.

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    1. I will find another! Grrr. I know exactly how you feel about bloody footballs, yes kids are precious but so are our beautiful plants! Oh I LOVE how a tree reacts to being in soil and not in a pot.....freedom!!!

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  10. I can so relate to this and feel a deep connection to my plants and trees as well. I am so sorry for your loss. My forest pansy redbud that I planted in my front garden really got hit hard from the winter. I have since moved her to a sheltered location out back and will be so bummed if she doesn't pull through. Wishing you all the best.... Hope you get another one!! Nicole xo

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    1. There is something about us gardeners that truly see and feel the beauty of a plant growing well and responding to our care. When they are sick or die, its hard on us, you never plant anything with getting you hopes up, do you? Hope she survives and thrives xxxx

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  11. Even though I am not religious I always think the planting cycle is much like the resurrection....birth (spring), life (summer), death (winter) and then resurrection (again spring). It heartens me every year! Today I planted my tomatoes (with cozy blankets), more chives, thyme and catnip (out of reach of the cats!) May your new tree blossom, grow and bring you bushels of cherries!

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    1. Kath! I'm not religious either but nature is a joy to behold, the cycles and the rhymn gives one a sense of continuity and thus peace. To see the start of a new growing year can't but throw light on the darkness of winter...it must be celebrated!
      Every best wish for your new babies! xxx

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  12. Sweetie I am so sorry about this little love of a cherry tree spirit dying.
    I so totally understand your connection to different plants in the garden .. I too feel that way .. I was so depressed last year when it looked like my absolute favorite, Golden Spirit smoke bush, that I trained as a tree,well like it had died after we transplanted it. It pushed it's beautiful leaves out ... then oddly they all curled up and died .. I was thinking that the salt we used to kill the trunk of the old sumac tree and some how affected my Cotinus .. huge heart thump over that.
    I wouldn't take it out .. I had to give it every chance possible to get over the shock and come back to me for this year
    Yes! I also understand your deconstructing to reconstructing practice !! ... and that you are on the road to feeling better with a new cherry tree coming plus a climber in white .. I love that!
    My news on my Golden Spirit ? .. it looks like the main trunk is alive .. so I will carefully prune off the dead looking bits and cross my fingers for the best.
    I so want it to bloom with it's gorgeous leaves. I did order another one last year as a stand by .. but I want THIS one to come back to me!
    We will both be waiting to see our little loves come to life and fill us up with hope again !!
    Joy : )

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