As Michael is a woodturner trees play a big part in our lives. 

We have a passion for them, not only as the raw material for Michaels art, but also the beauty of them as living growing plants. We have planted several hundred on our little corner of Orkney. A lot of trees we have bought as saplings or cuttings, but I also love the thrill of collecting seeds and growing them.


A couple of little Scots pines grown from seed, still under cover in pots. They will probably be big enough to put out next year. A group of pines that a grew from seed about 10 yrs ago. Great cover for the birds.


Some chestnut saplings still under cover, again will be next year before they go out. There are some Eucalyptus seeds in the pot under the cover.


Some chestnut trees out in the garden. I choose areas with plenty of shelter.

A young eucalyptus, which has gone through a winter. Again it is in a sheltered spot. I have another one doing well in another part of the garden. Would love them to keep going. There are eucalyptus growing in gardens in Orkney so am hopeful.


The mighty oak. We have several around the garden. A couple were given to us as young trees and the rest I have grown from acorns I have collected when away in England. I had some more planted, but a little mouse raided them in the winter and fed well. 


This year I have planted laburnum and dogwood


Some conifer, or a variety of spruce (I collected seeds in a park whilst in Alness just before lockdown) and some black iris – I know not a tree, but I was given the seeds and am really pleased a few have grown.

Every year I collect flower seeds from around the garden, lupin, poppy etc and take cutting from shrubs, black lace, fuchsia, etc.

This is a willow (very easy to grow from sticks, even in Orkney), but I have added it in as we had some logs that were not any use to Michael so we put them around a bank for little animals and insects to hide in and low and behold one grew. We will take that.


My fascination with trees has extended to Bonsais. This is the 1st time I have tried this. I have wired them and they over-wintered and then at the beginning of the growing season I trimmed the roots and potted them into their proper pots. I had some bonsai pots and Michael drilled a whole in a couple of little white dishes for the others. They seem to be doing well🤞.

They live on a shelf at the back of the Polycrub. The canes in the front are for the tomato plants in the bed below. (Not a great picture)

I am realistic and know that we will not be around to see them in full mature splendour, but even as young trees they are stunning and each year as their new leaves come and they grow a few more inches it is very exciting and satisfying.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit”  (Nelson Henderson) 

We hope you are all well and safe and managing to keep your spirits up during this continuing situation we are in.

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