I SPOTTED this tree just
inside the small entrance in the east wall of the
Garden (no trespassing was needed) and wondered if it
could be a hint of how the Elizabethan garden will look when it is
I hadn't seen it there
previously - just the "jungle" of overgrown plants.
It did strike
me as a little odd that the tree appeared to be in a
clear space in the "jungle" rather than it being part of
Has it been planted by someone with the
idea of giving a better
aspect from the Byron Walk homes? Or did it just grow there?
Nantwich landscape gardener and plants expert Alderman Doug Butterill
what it was and he told me it's an Acer Palmatum
According to my
book of plant names that's an
evergreen tree with hand-like leaves. There are a number
of different varieties of Acer Palmatums
But best of
all, when I checked a book based on John Gerard's "Herball",
I saw that the Nantwich-born herbalist lists the Acer (the Latin name) or Maple (the English
as he wrote, as one of the plants that were growing in
gardens in his days and that of the Townsend House walled garden.
search confirmed that the walled garden plant was a Japanese Maple,
some of which grow up
to eight metres high with a spread of 10 metres.
I'm not for one minute suggesting the Nantwich tree is a descendant of
a tree that once grew in the Townsend House walled
garden! But it makes it a good contender for the
I DON'T have a garden
and so there was no reason why I should be watching
the BBC Television "Gardeners' World" programme. Apart from having written this
article that day, perhaps. Or that there was nothing
else to watch!
Presenter Alan Power was talking
about a tree that had had the most influence on
gardeners in the past 50 years. He was choosing the Acer Palmatum
or Japanese Maples no less.
that isn't an omen, it has to be an amazing
co-incidence which, I hope, augurs well for the
plants to be seen in the walled garden in future.
Gardeners' World website and read more about the acer.