• It is summer time!

European Tree of the Year

European Tree of the Year

Vote now for your favourite tree and it could go forward to stand against trees throughout Europe for the coveted European Tree of the Year title.

The shortlisted trees have been chosen for Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and now it’s over to you as the public have the final say in which ones are crowned Tree of the Year for their nation.

England’s finalists include a 1000 year oak in Dorset, and the Old Electric Oak in Gloucestershire which survived multiple attempts to remove it from power lines. The Verdun Horse Chestnut, in St Alban’s, was grown from a conker taken from the last tree standing after the Battle of Verdun in the First World War; and the Bruce Castle Oak in Tottenham, London, dates back an estimated 450 years.

Scotland has put forward the first weeping Camperdown elm, the ‘filo pastry’ tree – actually the largest Polylepsis australis in the UK, known for its peeling bark; an oak tree used for hoarding grain during a famine; and Netty’s Tree, until a few years ago the only tree on the windswept island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides.

For Wales, the four finalists are the ancient yews of Ysbyty Ifan in Conwy; the massive and completely hollow Pwllpriddog Oak in Carmarthenshire; the famous yew tunnel at Aberglasney Gardens; and a copper beech which has stood over a Powys cemetery for over a century.

And last but not least Northern Ireland is putting forward a 27m tall Turkey oak in Co. Down; the Spanish Chestnut in Hezlett House, Co. Londonderry, from whose boughs a highwayman was hung; the Bishop’s Tree in Lumen Christi College, Derry/Londonderry; and the Giant’s Grave Thorn near Garvagh in Co Londonderry, a hawthorn said to guard the grave of an evil wizard.

To vote for your choice, visit the Tree of the Year website: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/tree-of-year-2018.

You might also be interested in:

Helping earthworms

The Wildlife Trusts want your help in a survey to find out how gardeners are helping earthworms – and there’s a beehive compost bin up for grabs if you take part!

Plant of the Week: Leucothoe

This lovely but little-known autumn foliage plant deserves a place in every garden for its sheer brilliance of colour through the coldest months of the year.

Finding Miss Harrison

The search for ‘Miss Harrison’ began after a researcher at the RHS’s Lindley Library discovered an old document which had lain forgotten in a box in the Society’s archives since 1898. It concerned a determined and pioneering female gardener, Miss Harrison, who had taken that year’s annual exam set by the RHS and not only passed, but achieved the top marks in the country. Normally, this would have secured her a scholarship, £5000 and the chance to study at the Society’s flagship garden in Chiswick.

What to do in the garden in October?

It’s one of the busiest times of the gardening year, so here’s a list of the jobs you can be getting on with!