Red maple. Photo credit: inoc on Flickr.
I’ve been having all kinds of fantasies lately. No, not THAT kind. The kind that comes from being a gardener raising a toddler in a tiny urban apartment. That’s right, I’m dreaming about land.
My fantasies are very specific, very romantic, and very far-fetched. In my fantasy, I have a big white farmhouse with a wraparound porch bounded by fields of wheat, a small but productive orchard, and, further out, forest. With all that space, I’ve got lots of room for chickens, and goats, and of course, a huge vegetable garden. But when it comes down to it, I’ve got room for trees.
I grew up in a rural, forested area. Our yard was choc-a-block with trees: Douglas-fir, cedar, hemlock. And a huge big-leaf maple that dumped mountains of burnt umber leaves every autumn. I miss that. Don’t get me wrong; I love my Japanese maples. They’re very pretty. Very clean. And very urban. But I yearn for real trees. Big, sprawling, messy trees — the kind you need a lot of space for.
So, in my daydreams, I construct my fantasy tree list. Trees I would grow if I had unlimited space. They are:
Red maple (Acer rubrum). Simply for that brilliant red. We don’t get that eastern show-stopping fall colour in our deciduous trees here in the Pacific Northwest, but these trees provide it without fail. Its fallen leaves ook like scraps of red and white paper to me, all scattered around in perfect disarray.
Katsura leaves. Photo credit: Schnittke on Flickr.
Katsura (Cercidiphyllum). What’s not to love about this tree? It has a nice, rounded form and heart-shaped leaves that blaze orange-red in fall. To top it off, fallen katsura leaves perfume the air with a lovely burnt-sugar scent: like the crust of a of creme brulee!
White birch grove. Photo credit: Nakae on Flickr.
White birch (Betula papyrifera). Actually, a grove of white birch. For the white bark, obviously. These aren’t commonly grown around here, but the interior of our province has many, and they remind me of holidays spent at my grandparent’s ranch in the Kootenays.
Sycamore. Photo credit: Dakota O on Flickr.
Sycamore (plane tree) (Platanus occidentalis). I have no first-hand experience with these trees, however, I love their rounded shape, the mottled bark, and their fantastic seedpods.
What are your favourite fantasy trees?