Blossoms to celebrate and commemorate

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

By Grant Jenkins, The Tree Company

Its just arriving — the longed for spring season; we have had a relatively dry winter and our West Cork gardens are not too boggy, winter gardening projects have been easier to keep up with and the last of our tree planting is just about done with lots of positive vibes in the air.

March 21 is the ‘International Day of Forests’, as designated by the United Nations, it is truly a global observance and governments, community organisations and the great general public are urged to promote the importance of forests and trees in our lives. Deforestation is still happening at an astonishing rate and the UN has called for us to reflect on this and other tree issues on this special date each year.

The giving and planting of a spring flowering tree is a lovely way to celebrate the season and the ‘Day of Forests’ and have a meaningful message of hope and joy as the ephemeral beauty of the blossoming boughs can never fail to lift the spirits and this gift should last for many years without costing much more than a bouquet of cut flowers.

Damsons, Apples, Cherries and Sloes all sound like an autumnal harvest but for some of us its their showy spring display of pretty pink or white petals and their sweet scent that fortifies our sense of well being far more than the fruits some produce, as we emerge from winter doldrums and nature’s decorations weave their cheering spell by simply displaying their energy to all.

A single cherry tree can be an explosion of blousy, vivid pink, which will flutter and nod, eventually drifting and dissolving away and its impact is dramatic though sadly short lived. With careful selection and if there is space in your garden, a longer period of blossoming interest is possible and there is a good range of these flowering trees to choose from, both ornamental and productive that will cheer from mid winter through to summer. It is usually the cherry (prunus) varieties that show first and then the apples (malus) and with so many varieties of these two tree species to choose from alone, a continuous display can be planned quite easily.

Of course most trees are flowering at this time though some of their flowers or catkins are not ‘significant’ however swinging gaily along the roads and lanes you’ll see thousands of jolly pale green or yellow catkins hanging from the willows and tentative bees will start to venture. Fat buds will burst out soon from the other trees and their tender bright green leaves denude our scenery and I encourage you to touch the baby leaves and feel their newness, I can never resist.

Someone who might have felt the same was Oliver Rackham, who sadly died in February this year aged 75, he was a most fervent passionate man with amazing insight and knowledge of our forests and who has influenced and inspired so many of us through his enriching array of study notes and books. He had a crucial impact on a whole generation’s ideas about woodlands, landscape, ecology, and history. He knew, firsthand, how woods worked, and that oak for example had been part of a different culture of woodmanship, based on natural regeneration, not industrial planting. He researched ancient texts, which proved wrong many of the ‘hand me down’ ideas of more recent histories about our landscapes, he was a singularly diligent researcher, as well as a great man in the field and his methods were thorough and enlightening. “Oliver Rackham’s woods weren’t abstract entities; they were symbiotic networks of carpenters, beetles, deer, land-thieves, lichens, pollards, surveyors and toadstools” — he has added so much to our knowledge base, his impact has been dramatic and not long lived enough. It is up to all of us to continue to share the mantle of responsibility to encourage furthering our understanding of our woodlands, hedgerows and trees for they are vital to our environment, vital to us all.

We can commemorate Oliver Rackham and his work whilst observing The United Nations ‘International Days of the Forest’, which suggests activities should include: tree planting campaigns, photo exhibits that portray the importance of forests and trees, and sharing infographics, videos, news and messages via social and other media. (This is a very late date in our part of the world to plant trees so do try to plant your trees early March at the latest when some trees are still in a fairly dormant winter state.) These are all great positive things to do and I hope we can all keep spreading the message throughout the years not just on one day each spring.

Enjoy natures’ confetti under the flowering trees of spring, add to them and may Oliver Rackham Rest In Peace.

If you need any further information regarding this article or indeed any other tree matters please get in touch with us at The Tree Company, Ballydehob, Co Cork or email us at or call our office on 028 37630. You can also keep up with our news on our facebook page.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing

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9th April, 2018  ·  

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