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 omen about 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
Did it just grow there?
Did it self-seed (if trees can do that)? Whatever happened it is certainly
better than the jungle that is there at present.
See this page.
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 described it, as one of the plants that were growing in
gardens in his days and so possibly that of the Townsend House gardens.
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
gardens! But it makes it a good contender for a place in the
An omen? Not a good one!
the appearance of the
acer/maple in the garden spoke volumes as an omen for the walled
garden as a public attraction, things have changed.
returned to the site at the end of August and there
was no sign of the tree. Nettles had spread over
where it had been but, no, they were not hiding the acer
which would still have been showing had
it been there.
happened to it is a mystery. Has someone taken it to
keep it safe and then to offer it back to the garden
when it is restored?
Or did someone
think that it was going begging? Surely not.
The on-line price for an acer is £8.95 (September