The Stone Pine
I was 60 this year, so we treated ourselves to a trip around France and Italy. When we got back, partly to to remember it and partly because I'm trying to make the garden more drought proof, I bought a Stone Pine.
He's teeny. Apparently he might be 5m tall in 5 years time. He will reach his maximum height some time after 20 years, when he will have that distinctive umbrella look.
I suddenly realised that's around when I should expect to croak.
Or if not dead, I will definitely have moved on.
I won't see this child as a grown up.
Worse, the future owner of our house might not like him. The folk we sold our last place to had no clue about gardening and did some terrible things. I don't even want to think about it.
This is a real problem. I reckon most of us have an optimum tree planting age - I'd guess around 50. If we're lucky we have a garden or a bit of land by then, or a community scheme we can get involved in. We're thinking about future generations, but planting for ourselves as well.
Increasingly, younger generations either rent or have less space to plant in, and older folk than me definitely plant less. I had a friend who worked as a tree officer in Devon, and he despaired of getting retirees to put trees in the ground.
We must, though. It won't be our children who enjoy my Stone Pine, but I hope someone else's will. They won't know why it's there or who planted it - the chances are they won't even think about it - but that doesn't matter.