The meaning of trees: the way we see the world

If you love trees, poetry and art, this is a pure must-read. An absolute delight!

That's How The Light Gets In


Is the rowan tree still there in the garden of the house where I grew up? The thought occurred to me as I listened to the second of five talks by Fiona Stafford on The Meaning of Trees, broadcast last week in BBC Radio 3’s Essay strand (and available as a podcast download). Stafford had begun by explaining the Rowan’s popularity as a tree for suburban gardens – it’s easy to grow, is good on all kinds of soil, is low maintenance, and doesn’t grow too large.

For gardeners the tree has several benefits.  It’s a tree for all seasons – a kaleidoscope of changing colours  throughout the year, from creamy spring blossom and pistachio summer green to autumn’s bright scarlet berries.  It’s popular with bird-lovers because it’s a favourite of blackbirds and thrushes.  The result is that rowans found in suburban streets and gardens all over Britain.

Yet this is a tree that first flourished…

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Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

2 thoughts on “The meaning of trees: the way we see the world”

  1. Dear socialbridge, just found your lovely site today, it’s brilliant, and so generous of you to take time to write so well and respond to comments, so thoughtfully. My dear and much cherished Mum and Dad died in Feb 2009, within ten days of one another…..still sad and hard to write. I appreciate you are also living with loss and offer my hope that you have ‘easier days’. My Mum had a small Rowan tree which she planted in her garden as a reminder of one back home in Ireland. I now have it in my garden, so pleased it didn’t die in the uprooting. I think of them so often and yearn for ‘a sign’.

    Thanks, B.

    1. Hello B, many, many thanks for writing and my deep sympathy on the deaths of your parents. Ten days is such a short space of time ~ it’s pretty unimaginable how you could cope.
      I’m so glad that your mother’s Rowan tree re-rooted successfully for you. They are so beautiful and so very Irish, I always think.
      Look forward to keeping in touch.

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