The best tree

flowersThese lovely flowers belong to the best thing in my garden, a thirty foot eucryphia tree. It is columnar, with a semi-weeping habit, and evergreen. So already it earns its place as a good garden tree. But, as if that weren’t enough, every July/August, it bursts forth in a froth of large white blooms, with pretty pink anthers, and a sweet scent.

And, best of all, the honey bees love it. In fact, the children call it ‘bee tower’. The garden thrums with the sound of happy bees.



Eucryphia pollen is very fine indeed, little more than dust. The bees look as if they have been sugar frosted as they go about their business.


At times, they are almost frenetic, as if frantic to collect and preserve this bounty while it lasts.


I can claim no gardening credit for this tree – it was here when we moved in ten years ago. I am told they are difficult to establish and fussy in their needs but this one seems to be happy with benign neglect. Long may it last.
Do you have a favourite insect-friendly garden plant/tree?

20 thoughts on “The best tree

  1. Utterly breathtaking. About two years ago, I moved from the boonies to a small town. I miss my orchard (mostly apples, with a couple of pears and plums) where the bees would do their happy thrumming. The photos are simply gorgeous. I’ll need to look up this Eucryphia. First time I’ve heard of it.

  2. I have MANY! Pear, peach, plum, some mystery shrub, red buds are a few. They need a better photographer for showing off their loveliness – they’re stuck with me instead for a while.

    Love the bee’s little saddle bags…all loaded up. And the macro shot of the flower’s center. Striking.

  3. Will a favorite bird-friendly tree do? Our Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick died a number of years ago, but even as a leafless tangle of curvy branches remained a haven for our back yard birds until just recently when it could no longer support itself and just fell. I marvel at your photos.

  4. What a beautiful tree! I have never heard of it but I coveted it immediately, however, it appears to like an acid soil and mine is very limy. Sometimes, all the wise things you read can be overturned by a headstrong plant so I think I will have to give it a try. The desire to have sugar-dusted bees flying around in a perfumed tree is too strong. Beautiful photographs.
    My favourite tree is my evergreen honeysuckle that flowers in January and attracts the queen bumble bees in the sunny days. Tempting for you to take photographs of the bees in winter?

    • Go for it! We do have acidic soil here, but I agree with you about headstrong plants, and that’s a nice way to put it, by the way. :) I am not sure many bees would be about in January here. We have had a lot of snow the last three winters.

  5. When I have the luxury of having my own space to create a garden in, I love attracting bees with flowering herbs.

    You really should get into bee-keeping (if you’re not already!).

    • You’re not the first to suggest that but I am loathe to do it as it has become a bit of a middle class fashion over here in recent years. I don’t really do fashion. For now I will just continue to plant for bees.

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