Following on from my visit to Town Tree Farm nature garden in early Spring, I decided to create a photo-journal about it, visiting every six weeks or so and recording the changes. The trees around this urn sculpture are now in full leaf.
A more spectacular transformation is taking place in the wreckage of the mysterious plants – the chair is much larger than a normal one!
This was the scene in February. In March, a very few tiny green shoots could be seen in these great piles of fallen stems and flowers, but by late May, a whole jungle was springing up!
Below is another clump (without a chair in the way). You could use that image to try and identify it – search programmes struggle to come to terms with the scale. It probably isn’t a West Indian gherkin.
The Nature Garden is a labyrinth rather than a maze. There are only a few places where you can take a wrong turn and get lost, and these are service tracks, only visible in winter. The paths are usually bordered on both sides by water – pool or wide ditch – so when you encounter a family of swans there’s no way around them!
We persuaded them back into the water on the way into the gardens. The male chased us furiously up the lake once the cygnets were safe, but stopped short of following us along the path!
Unluckily for us, they were back when we returned. It was now early evening and they were settled for the night. Why a creature would spend so much effort adapting to life on the water then park its young on a path which must be used by every predator in the district is a mystery to me!
They recognised us; they didn’t like us. We retreated to consider our options. Swans are quite dangerous, but my companion walks with a stick and it was several miles to the road by the other route.
There was a big pile of dead pine brush by the track. Arming ourselves with long branches tipped with large fans of twig, we approached the birds in what we hoped was a confident manner. They hissed and raised their wings, glaring menacingly, but as long as we kept the twigs between us, they couldn’t get to us and we managed to edge past!
In future, we may avoid the Nature Garden on spring evenings! Once the cygnets can fly, the family departs on their travels.