Sunday 3 March 2024

Silver birches


I am suddenly obsessed with silver birch trees. I was already very much a tree person, always wondering whether I can squeeze a tree in here or there and lamenting the tree cutting on my morning dog walks by the stream. Then I saw something about how perfect silver birches are for small gardens - slender, not too thick they block the light etc.

Plus, I remember reading ages ago that they are second only to oak in the number of species they can support. More than 300 insect species, according to the Woodland Trust. So I have put a couple in the garden. They are just very small at the moment, but I do so love planting a tree. If I were ever to come into money, I would buy woodland I think, trees just makes me happy.

And of course, now I am spotting silver birches everywhere. I chose the native one, which I assume is probably the best bet for wildlife. I'm also thinking about digging a hole or two in the patio and sticking in a fig tree and an olive that I have knocking around in pots, but I'm slightly concerned that I might hit the mains sewer. It feels like the sort of thing I might do. Does anyone know where they go? I seem to recall they mostly go out the front and to a main pipe running down the middle of the road, but it would be big mistake to make, even for me, if it turned out to be under the patio. Might just stick with the containers to be on the safe side.

Not much news here, I am working, working, working which doesn't make for exciting reading. The dog is well, and has been enjoying a dry and sunny day after surprise snow yesterday morning. No-one was expecting it at all, so the morning dog walk was full of astonishment from all and sundry. It was a proper thick white snowfall, but the day warmed up and it was gone by lunchtime. No complaints from me, I have usually had enough after a day of snow.

Just a week ago I was rescuing early bees who had come out for a look round and collapsed with exhaustion/cold/thirst/hunger. I found one on the pavement, with acres of tarmac all around. I took her into the kitchen where it was warmer and popped her on a plate with some honey and water. You could see her lapping at it for ages. When she was all warmed up and buzzy we took her out to the woodpile. I hope that's the right thing to do. A day or two later, there was another one. Hopefully they are tucked back up for now though.  

I shall leave you now and be back when I have some actual news. I hope all is well at your end. CJ xx


  1. I love silver birch trees. The girls (well, me!) bought R one for Father's Day many years ago. She (Silvia!) whipped back and to in the wind for a couple of years before her trunk strengthened and she is now a stately tree. I wish we had planted another one near her; we could have suspended a hammock between the 2 by now.
    We missed the snow here, sadly. I love a bit of snow, provided I'm not driving in it. Well done on the bee first aid. xx

  2. I love silver birches too. They are lovely on a bright winter's day. Advice is ysyall to restrict fig roots to control the size of the plant. I'd stick with pots especially near the house.

    1. Forgot to enable cookies and didn't spot that I was posting anonymously

  3. Good for you, silver birches are lovely trees. Fig trees like being confined so I would keep it in the pot, and the olive.
    There's been no snow here thankfully. Well done on rescuing early bees.
    All's well here thanks. Take care. xx

  4. Hello! Would you believe I just got a beautiful picture for my dining room, and it is of silver birch trees?!?! So happy to visit with you today. Have a cozy evening, my friend.

  5. Silver birches are lovely trees, aren't they CJ. Recently I've been noticing the weeping variety, . Now I've spotted them I keep seeing them everywhere. Isn't that often the way! :0) Love your snowy pictures. Jacquie xx

  6. We brought two silver birches back to our house in the boot of the car twenty drive years ago and now they are forty feet tall at least. I planted five jaquemontii elsewhere and just this morning recommended a grove of them to my son who has a long garden. They can be planted surprisingly close together. Love them.

  7. Probably a good idea not to dig up the patio.... under our slabs is the waste water pipe. We know because it was blocked on fine December day (many years ago). I love silver birches, too. Such a beautiful bark. Have a lovely week, and give Bertie a tickle from me. Cx

  8. I’m a silver birch lover too especially on a sunny winters day. Gorgeous sunsets. I do love a good sunset. B x

  9. Helen Mathey-Horn7 March 2024 at 00:45

    You might see if the utility people can come out and mark where your utilities run underground. In Illinois it is known as "Juli" (Joint Utility Line Illinois or something like that) They are always encouraging people to "Call Juli" before they dig.

  10. I'd avoid digging up the patio although the drains are quite deep. I have two manholes in mine although they say one is a soakaway. I also have two on my drive! How greedy is that? We had a flood a few years ago when a drain down the road was blocked by pampas grass growing into the drain and it was not pretty!

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