By Grant Jenkins, The Tree Company.
On the radio the other day, I heard how some US companies are giving up to ten thousand dollars to their employees to select the desk and chair of their own choice for their office. This creates a positive comfortable work environment encouraging feelings of value, personal aesthetic and loyalty, which in turn results in positive productivity.
How we construct the spaces where we spend most of our time is incredibly important to our holistic sense of wellbeing. This careful consideration should be given to all our living spaces including our gardens, roadsides, streets, towns, parks etc. We all benefit, for example, from well-managed street trees, which break up the hard concrete surfaces in a city or town, an office window might be the only place some of us experience the changing colours of the seasons and walking beneath a green canopy is a wonderful sensory experience of sight, sound and smell we mostly take for granted.
Last winter the high winds and storms changed some of our landscapes and brought down many trees. This now gives us a great opportunity to recreate and ‘consider’ some of these spaces, to improve and enjoy new environments. Most of the trees which blew down here in West Cork were dense crowned coniferous (evergreens), some planted too close together, some on shallow soil, some with disease, some simply due to poor or no maintenance, deciduous trees suffered for these reasons too but on the whole it was the cypresses, spruces and pines, which were hardest hit. From now until March is the planting season and time to replace these losses with perhaps more prudent species of trees and shrubs, keeping in mind how different trees and shrubs will fulfill our prescribed hopes for outcomes. There are many points to consider, their overall shape, position, contrast, juxtaposition, sound, seasonal colour, height, flower, fruit, smell, context, use, maintenance, hardiness etc. We are all very visually aware and information rich these days and with some of our modernity there are some crass values and shallow ideals whereby we are encouraged to indulge in quick fixes and short term returns, but living alongside nature, with trees, is one of the core fundamental sensory pleasures that can make us, as humans, happy; planting trees is great example that demonstrates to our children how to invest and value the quality of lives of future generations.
As architects and designers strive to create ‘happy buildings’, we can all have a hand in developing and experimenting in our gardens and townscapes to create beautiful, interesting, inspirational, diverse outdoor living spaces and vistas to enhance our own very personal sense of positivity. Happy planting everyone!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 028 37630.