Time To Stand And Stare
Gardens Illustrated|December 2017

On winter walks Frank finds himself looking at ash trees with fresh eyes, now that time could be running out for these stately natives

Frank Ronan

The military grey of ash bark comes back into focus now the world is nearly monochrome again. The coal black buds already there, not as black as they will be in March, if we are to believe Tennyson, but black enough for admiration. Did the leaves fall, or were they pushed by the first swelling of their successors? A December morning, the sun bright enough to dazzle but not strong enough to dry the shine off the branches, is not a bad time to take a look, while bareness is a novelty still.

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