This weeks Tree Teaching celebrates the beautiful relationship between trees and flowers.
I was lucky to go down to my favourite woods. (As some of you know I have ME/Fibromyalgia so I am not always able to get out very far). These woods are semi ancient woodland. Meaning that it has always been woodland here, or at least from the sixteen hundreds. The wide range of flora and fauna to be found is indicative of this.
"Trees provide oxygen, life, beauty and spiritual sustenance; the ancient guardians of our lands and observers of our humanity." AST members Amie Slavin
I grew up here and spent many happy hours wandering the woods and meadows. In spring these woods sing with birds and flowers.
I wandered the woods breathing in the growing green along paths weaving their way through the carpets of flowers. Wood anemones, Wild Garlic, Stitchwort, Red Campion, Archangel, Cow Parsley and of course, heavenly Bluebells. My eyes were kissed by beauty where ever they alighted.
"They have mesmerising beauty" AST member Thomas Tang
The trees reaching for the light are slowly getting dressed in their robes of green. The sycamores with their long straight trunks and wide symmetrical canopies, the oaks with their rough bark and twisting limbs, the silver birches' shining trunks and tender graceful branches, the beech with their smooth grey bodies and beautiful fresh spring green leaves. Lime, hazel, scots pine, ash, alder, willow, blackthorn, hawthorn, holly and yew all getting ready for the May Ball. The green of the trees is the perfect backdrop to show off the beauty of the flowers.
"I cannot explain why, their beauty, their constancy, their differences. The slenderness of a young silver birch, the strength and majesty of mature oaks and yews." AST member Sally Carr
Here they stand, with carpets of flowers at their feet. They are the kindly gardeners whose presence lets the land flower. What beauty is to be found greater than the woods on a spring day? Colour, scent, form and habit combining to great beauty.
This Arcadian vision is only possible due to the trees' honourable exchange with the earth. They give so much, breathing in carbon dioxide, cleaning the air of toxins, breathing out oxygen, providing food and shelter to so many communities.
When they die their legacy lives on in what they leave behind. As a consequence of the trees living in harmony with all around them, the flowers grow. Without their presence these flowers would not exist.