I'm trying to leave more trees when I die then when I came into this world. Knowing that my legacy to this world will hopefully be some lovely big oak trees with lots of other types of native trees. As a matter of fact, I want to leave a small forest behind and leave an environment which is beneficial to wildlife and humans alike.
Last year autumn I've sowed (or should I say planted?) acorns and other seeds from trees in big pots next to the house. After a long, long wait I nearly gave up, because by the beginning of May there was no sign of any seed germinating.
Luckily there is this brilliant story book from the Forestry Commission Scotland which tells a series of stories (written by Claire Hewitt) about a tree for every month of the year.
And the oak story is my favourite and most inspiring one.
It's all about patience (which I lack sometimes).
'One day an acorn falls off a tree and wants to become something important. It's very impatient and keeps asking mother oak when it will be big. After lots and lots of years and lots and lots of questions, the little oak tree looks into a river thinking it will see a sapling, but instead sees a big, mighty oak.'
I won't rewrite the whole story, but you can read it at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/fcms128.pdf/$FILE/fcms128.pdf
I too can be impatient sometimes, especially when growing things, but lo and behold, after being very impatient all spring, my acorns finally germinated in mid May!
And, yes, I know it would take over 60 years for an oak tree to grow big, but just seeing it grow into a tree would be good enough. I just have to think of the story and be patient!
There was this programme on BBC4 not that long ago, about a year in the life of an oak tree, which was really interesting. It showed an acorn springing into life, which looked amazing.
And isn't it just unbelievable that from these tiny plants, huge big oaks grow!
I've started to call them 'my oak babies'.
We've got an 'oak toddler' too in the garden. Which is a tree we bought some 4 years ago as a one-year old tree. It's grown taller than me already, but still looks very small compared to the oak trees nearby.
It's just acorns which germinated this time, but I'm going to sow other trees this autumn again and make sure the soil conditions are right for the right tree. Maybe dig up some soil from underneath
certain trees and sow the right seeds.
Who knows? Maybe one day, I'll have grown enough trees to plant a forest!And at the end of my life I'll know that I've generated more trees than what I've used.
My final wish would then be to be buried beneath a tree, preferably my own home grown one! But that would all depend on how long I've got left. One thing is for sure, the 'oak babies' are most likely to overtake me in age.
And will have become 'oak mothers'!