Snow fallen on cedars
For this week’s Tuesday tree I did think about ivy, to follow last week’s holly. Ivy, however, can by no stretch of the imagination be called a tree. Moreover, the only handy specimen which I can find is growing up a particularly ugly garage wall, so I thought I would spare you that. Instead, we turn to an altogether more majestic specimen: the Atlas Cedar.
The Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is a native of the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, but is not uncommon in large gardens in Britain and mainland Europe. It is thought to be a close relative of the better known Cedars of Lebanon, although –
– hang on a minute, I’ve just realised that I am talking like a guidebook. Here’s a better idea: if you’d like to find about more of the botany and uses of Cedrus atlantica, there is plenty of useful information on the internet. Speaking as myself again, as a non-scientist, what I love about the Atlas Cedars is their great sweeping branches and statuesque form. We have a short avenue of them here, perhaps a dozen trees or so, and they have an impact out of all proportion to their numbers.
There are also some young specimens being nurtured nearby. They seem to do nothing for years on end, so it must have taken generations for the mature ones to grow as big as they have.
Anyway, all these midsummer photos are just a precursor to the midwinter image that I really meant to show you. In snow, the dark needles become a negative image of themselves, delineated as sharply as an etching. I think I actually prefer them in their winter purity.