03 November 2011

A Classic Weepie

The leaves of beech, and the trunk and bark of beech, are quietly beautiful for much of the year. It takes a while to come alive in spring, which is only really noticeable in beech hedges and topiary, still brown and crinkly when everything else has gone green. The late canopy in a beech wood suits bluebells just fine of course. At this time of year in the Wild Garden at Brooke Hall the acer and sorbus have gone a reliably mad red and supernatural orange-pink. But the beech sports every autumn colour, on one tree. When the sun shines horizontally across a cathedral-like beech it looks flood-lit. And a weeping cathedral-like beech (above) well, it's value-added, all year round.

For the perpetually confused: Beech left, hornbeam right. It's textural.

This beech column stands with another, beside a group of equally blameless yew columns. They bring a bit of structure to the front (or is it back?) door. But now, for a short time, it's discreetly wigging out.


  1. What an intriguing use of a beech. I would love to see it in relation to the yew columns.

  2. Okay. But just to describe - there is a waist high beech hedge close to the house, which is looking good at the moment, and the twice-as-tall yew columns are against this. So, they look more interesting now, even though they are doing what they do all year round (looking neat and upright). Waist high beech is extra good because the top is visible, so the changing leaf effect is even more 3-D. And even more brown in spring, but that's a long way off.

  3. That weeping beech is magnificent. I am busy collecting all sorts of fallen leaves, nuts and husks and such, and bits of fallen bark, for plant dyeing fabric. (Don't worry, I only take a tiny proportion of what's there, I'm no threat to the insect population.). I can achieve a beautiful range of muted hues, but as always the trees themselves have the prettiest colours :D