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?

For so work the honey bees

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For so work the honey bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts,
Where some like magistrates correct at home;
Others like merchants venture trade abroad;
Others like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-ey’d justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.

William Shakespeare, Henry V, I.ii

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