The Catalpa

I am not exactly certain when I bought my Catalpa aurea tree, but it is more than twenty years ago as for several years it lived in a container in the front garden of where I last lived in Nottingham. 

This tree was released into this garden as one of its foundational plants. It has grown well and whilst it is always one of the last of my trees to leaf-up, it’s always worth the wait.   Look at how beautifully it grows.  The dark, purply new leaves that open up like a newly emerged butterfly's wings unfurling into glorious golden yellow.
There I was the other evening, doing my usual after-work wander around the garden. I deadhead some roses, I check on recent plantings and generally let my day reset whilst I check all is well. I stopped to look up into the catalpa. 

I stood and mused to myself looking at the light shining through the leaves.  I thought about how long I have had this tree and realised we have been growing together for more than a third of my life.  My relationship with this tree is significant. I have a handful of plants that moved with me and I regard them as good and important friends. 

I did as I usually do, have a little wander around the internet looking for interesting things about Catalpas and to my surprise apparently Sir Walter Raleigh brought them to this country, alongside tobacco and potatoes.  I had never seen this information previously.  Also, apparently, their heart shaped leaves make them a symbol of peace and resilience in some cultures - two things we all need more of, especially peace.

So I stand in front of my catalpa and tell it how much it is appreciated, how much it means to my garden and to me.  This is a tree I should hug more often.

Take care and be kind.

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