Monkey Puzzle

Whilst out for our daily walk - not much else to do during lockdown, and the only way to get our 6 month old boy to sleep during the day - I took a picture of this lovely specimen, situated in the grounds of an old school:


Too big for my garden, certainly. Most gardens, it seems - I read somewhere that monkey puzzle trees are being cut down left, right and centre. A diminishing number of mature specimens remain, which were planted, what, over a hundred years ago?

Such a beautiful tree - it’s a crying shame.

It made me think about why I garden.

Certainly, I garden in the present, or for the present (or near present), so to speak - I want to enjoy the garden today, tomorrow, in the spring. Perhaps not today – it’s freezing, but you get my drift.

In a sense, however, we all garden for the future - to watch things grow and change and mature as the years pass.

I think there is some sense of creating a legacy – creating something that will be here when we’re gone.

Is it naive, or self-aggrandising, to assume that a garden that I enjoy in the present will be appreciated, protected, by someone in the future? The monkey puzzle would probably say yes, if it could speak (and hadn’t been chopped into firewood).

Perhaps it’s best not to think too far ahead, to burden today’s joys with tomorrow’s sorrows. I don’t know, but I’ll enjoy the monkey puzzle during our daily walks, and, with any luck, when my boy is a little older he’ll enjoy it, too. We’ll see.

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