greentapestry : Why Willows Weep and Other Stories

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Why Willows Weep and Other Stories

"How did the oak tree come to life? Why does the chestnut tree have white candles? Why does nothing grow under the beech tree (or does it?)? Why crab apples are sour? Why birches have silver bark? Why the ash has black buds?" 

We are on the cusp here between some lingering remnants of colour in the garden and the changes that the first frost of autumn will no doubt bring about. We were teased by a forecast of frost earlier in the week but it did not materialise, rain pushing it considerately away in the night. So the dahlias still sparkle  and I was saved the job of lifting them to morph into that sad state of tuberous limbo. I am debating whether to leave the 'Bishop's Children' in the ground during the winter and let them take their chances. They were so easy to grow from seed. Meanwhile work continues trying to clear some of the beds at the allotment. The last few beans have been picked and although they diminished quality wise they have have been good enough to lob into soup along with the never ending courgettes. One plant is still producing so I am going to leave it until we get that first touch of white. My order of garlic has arrived in the post - nice plump bulbs from Otter Farm.

Another time consuming task is sweeping up leaves which at this moment in time is one of those thankless ones as more leaves fall as soon as one lot is swept and bagged up. The main culprit in the back garden is a huge ash tree which we inherited when we moved here. I have never held it in much affection until earlier this week, when I came across mention of a book entitled 'Why Willows Weep' on the Woodland Trust website. The book is a collection of short stories by contemporary authors who have donated their stories enabling the Woodland Trust to plant five native trees for every book sold.

After listening to one of the stories 'Why The Ash Has Black Buds?' read here by its author William Fiennes, I will be treating myself and maybe a good friend to this tome by way of a soon on the horizon seasonal gift. I will also look at our ash in a more loving manner in the future and the curses will cease. Do have a listen to this story if you can as I think that like me you will be absolutely entranced! 


  1. It sounds like a lovely book, I shall go back and listen to the story when I have a little more time. We haven't had a frost yet either, though I'm sure it won't be long now.

  2. I'll have to take a listen to that. We had an ash tree loom over our garden. It was in an uncared for neighbour's garden and so tall it was nearly touching the electricity wires. I hated the autumn when it shed those seed pods which were impossible to collect and made a big mess. It wasn't even that attractive a tree. Then this summer the house was sold to a developer who chopped down the tree. I was glad of the extra light. no more seeds and leaves but sad that the birds had nowhere to perch. Maybe the story will change my mind about ash trees

  3. Entrancing. I will put that on my wishlist. I am torn between wanting the frosts to come so that I can lift the dahlias and plant out the wallflowers, and wanting to enjoy the unnatural mildness.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.