Wednesday gardening sessions are now suspended due to the new national lockdown.  Work will be restricted to essential tasks only and carried out in accordance with government guidelines.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Johanna Alberti

This week we celebrate National Tree Week, which marks the official start of the winter tree planting season. To mark the occasion, we are pleased to share a poem by Johanna Alberti, called "The Mystery of Trees".

Each morning I lay my hand

on the trunk of a sycamore

stroke the intricacy of bark.

The mystery of trees is

unfathomable. We know they breathe,

inhale our leavings, bestowing life.


Incomprehending, we judge

them mute, will not believe

they could be in touch with one another.

No speech this, but a subtle breath

of warning across acres of woodland

so others may cultivate protection.


Is there no way we can connect

to this complexity? I ache to join

this silent sharing, deep-rooted trust.

We have not heard them, instead

cut and crack-bone, shape them to our needs

leave the forests bare.


Trees feed and heal each other, keep

their young alive. Old and fallen

they are a fecund source of life.

I walk beneath the oaks, their ancient wisdom eludes me. Unknowing, expecting only burial in the earth’s rich soil.