Sunday 20 March 2011

Spring buds at Congrove

Betula sp. (grown as B. tauschei)
The valley and arboretum at Congrove

Today I've been for Sunday lunch with Christine and Ben Battle at their home at Congrove, near Bath - an excellent meal and excellent company. Afterwards we toured the arboretum that Christine has been planting on their land in this secluded valley since 2002, and which is becoming a really notable collection. I've known it for several years, and even in its early days I was able to cite specimens growing there in New Trees. It's over a year since I was last there and the growth on the trees has been remarkable, aided by the attention provided by Christine and her right-hand man, Tony Webb, as well as the superb growing conditions in this well-watered, rich-soiled, west-facing valley.

Although it is still too early to see much growth on most trees, many signs of spring were apparent on a glorious warm sunny day. Here are a few details.

Male cones on Torreya grandis

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra) flowers

Magnolia sprengeri var. diva

Larix principis-rupprechtii

Fraxinus paxiana

Thujopsis dolabrata

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