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Loveliest of trees

Cherry trees in bloom, with dandelions and grass
Cherry blossom and dandelions

So wrote the poet AE Housman about the cherry tree, as he mused on the importance of taking time out to enjoy spring blossom. It was one of my father's favourite poems, and I always think of him when I see our cherry trees. Actually, we often don't get very many cherries as we're too slow to net the trees and the birds get there first.

As for the dandelions, the gardener in me cringes to see them, but if they were rare, we'd travel miles to see that glorious spread of colour. Anyway, they're an important plant for hungry bees in early spring, richer in both pollen and nectar than most spring flowers. They're also very deep-rooted, improving the soil and bringing all sorts of trace elements up from deep down. So that's all right, then.


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