Tag Archives: following my tree

Following My Tree: November

November 9th, 2015 | 24 Comments »

I haven’t followed my tree, a linden or basswood (Tilia americana), since August. The reason is simple — in September and October I was travelling during the time when the Tree Following meme (originally hosted by Lucy Corrander of Loose and Leafy and as of this month hosted by Squirrelbasket) was open. But I’m at Glen Villa today, so a post about my tree’s progress since August seems only right.

Photos are the clearest way to chronicle the changes, from the green of late August to the green touched with yellow of mid September.


The one touch of yellow makes me think of a trendy young woman who dyes a single lock of her hair in an odd colour.
The one touch of yellow makes me think of a trendy young woman who dyes a single lock of her hair an odd colour. Not that yellow is odd…


In those early autumn days, the tree had a nostalgic air about it, as if it were yearning for the long days of summer.  Or was it downcast, annoyed by those who were gathering around?


Wild turkeys enjoy munching on the grass and whatever it offers.
Wild turkeys enjoyed munching on the grass and whatever it offered.


Wild turkeys were rare in our area until a dozen or so years ago. Now they are common, but still intriguing to look at. A close-up shows how prehistoric these birds look — like small dinosaurs with creepy, crêpe-y, jowls and feathery backs that seem as hard as a soldier’s helmet.


Wild turkeys are said to be tastier than the farm-grown ones available in grocery stores. I'm sure they are although I can't attest to that.
Wild turkeys are said to be tastier than the farm-grown ones available in grocery stores. I’m sure they are although I can’t attest to it, never having tried.


By late September, the tree had turned from green to almost-gold.


The linden tree's perfection is its shape. Standing alone at the end of a big sweep of grass, it has power of place.
The linden tree’s perfection is its shape. Standing alone at the end of a big sweep of grass, it has power of place.


The peak of autumn colour lasts only a short time and I was away when the linden was at its golden prime. By the time I returned, its colours were starting to fade and leaves to fall.


Colour fades.
As colour fades and leaves drop, the outline of the branches become clearer.


The linden is bare now, leaving only a pattern of branches against the sky.



Bare branches.
Almost too dark to see is the bench that circles the linden. It was one of the first things we installed at Glen Villa after we acquired the property in 1996.


With only one month remaining in 2015, this will probably be my last post on the linden. But before ending this year’s tree chronicle,  let me tell you what I plan for the area around it.

This summer we were plagued by Canada geese. Despite all our efforts — and they were many — the geese came almost daily, and in increasing numbers. They made the big lawn that showcases the linden so beautifully almost impossible to walk on.


Grandchildren enjoyed chasing the geese away, but the blasted birds returned anyway.
Grandchildren enjoyed chasing the geese away, but the blasted birds returned the moment the grandchildren left. Those posts in the background supported a useless fence. We put it up before the baby geese could fly, thinking that would stop them from coming onto the lawn, but the parents simply led the babies the long way around.



Some research and more personal experience tells me that these geese do not like long grass. So next year, we will begin the process of converting lawn to meadow. To make this conversion look deliberate, and for our own convenience and comfort, we will mow a path that circles the linden and sweeps across the grass towards the house. We may mow other paths as well, to create a series of circles and spirals. In the photo below you can see the beginning of that path, mown sometime in September.


No leaves
You can see the beginning of the mown path in this photo. It will circle the linden to the width of the branches before spiralling out across the lawn.


I like the pattern that mown strips can make but I worry that the paths will be hidden in the longer grass and that the meadow grasses will detract from the stateliness of the linden tree. I also wonder if we can make this conversion without digging up the whole lawn and starting afresh, something I’d really like to avoid. This winter I’ll be reading everything I can find that deals with this topic. Thankfully, it seems to be a timely one, as more and more people become concerned with biodiversity and more naturalized plantings. I know that a lot of information is available, and I know I will need to learn a lot before I am comfortable with what I’m doing.  I also think the conversion will take a couple of years and a certain amount of trial and error.

If anyone has advice on how to proceed or suggestions about books I should consult, please let me know. I welcome your ideas.

Following my Tree: August

August 9th, 2015 | 10 Comments »
  Last month when I posted about the linden, or basswood, tree that is such a prominent feature of Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec, I was worrying that the trunk was beginning to split. I'm still worrying about that since a big hole in the canopy is clearly visible.   [caption id="attachment_2624" align="aligncenter" width="533"] The split in the canopy is most visible from this angle.[/caption]     The linden has four main trunks, almost certainly a sign that it was deliberately or accidentally cut when young. This is a common


Following My Tree: July

July 10th, 2015 | 9 Comments »
A fully-grown tree doesn't change that much in a short time, or so you may think. But compare two photos of the linden, or basswood, tree (Tilia americana) that stands in my Quebec garden, Glen Villa. I took the first photo on June 13. [caption id="attachment_2454" align="aligncenter" width="1224"] The linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn looked quite perky on June 13, 2015.[/caption]   I took the second one two days ago, on July 8. [caption id="attachment_2455" align="aligncenter" width="1127"] The linden tree on July 8, 2015 has a sadder air.[/caption]  


Following my Tree: June

June 14th, 2015 | 5 Comments »
Sometimes trees are part of a forest, sometimes they stand alone. As a child, the lone tree at the top of the field by my grandparents' house in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia was a beacon, calling me out of the fenced farmyard and into adventure. The fact that it was a forbidden destination only made the tree more appealing. [caption id="attachment_2311" align="aligncenter" width="1201"] I took this photo of the old poplar tree -- probably a liriodendron, or tulip poplar -- about a dozen years ago, looking down from the


Following Other Trees

May 10th, 2015 | 13 Comments »
Once again this month I am nowhere near my home in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, so I cannot report on my linden, the tree I am officially 'following.' But since I hate to miss a month of  Lucy Corrander's tree following meme, I am cheating this month and following the trees that I see around me as I visit the towns of Emilia-Romagna in italy. Trees are blooming everywhere and from the trains between towns I can see blurs of white blossoms. In Ferrara, a small city that I like very much,


Following My Tree: April

April 12th, 2015 | 11 Comments »
Finally, the snow is melting and the ground that has been hidden for so many months is beginning to re-appear. Today temperatures rose to 15C or so, a big change from what we've been experiencing. And the sky was bright and beautifully blue.   [caption id="attachment_2040" align="aligncenter" width="1224"] The linden tree is framed between two old maple trees, planted over 100 years ago on the big lawn at Glen Villa.[/caption]   Despite this, not much is happening yet to the tree I'm 'following' this year, a linden or basswood, or