Mulberry Trees

For a moment the planet here in England rests for high summer. I study a tiny plant in a garden pot. It is a cutting. It seems to be surviving well. It came from a mulberry bush, about four feet high, which is planted in my lawn.

And that bush grew from the fruit of a mulberry tree gathered by a friend from the garden of William Shakespeare’s birthplace many years ago. It will probably be years before my bush bears fruit. The tree was, according to various reports including Kew Gardens, from a scion of a mulberry which grew there in Shakespeare’s time.

Not far from Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford on Avon is the home of Shakespeare’s son-in-law, Dr John Hall. Mrs Llew and I visited there some years ago. In the garden was an enormous mulberry tree, so great that it had collapsed and a great trunk grew along the ground, while branches stretched upwards.

There is a connection with Shakespeare’s mulberry but I don’t recall what that is. My mulberry tree, which gave the cutting, and also another of its berries, from which I grew another small tree, may one day be as immense as the tree in John Hall’s garden.

From the base of that second tree, a blue Canterbury bell has come into bloom. That  grew from a stray seed. And generations on, who knows, the little cutting, which seems to flourish at the moment, will carry on the link.

Meanwhile, in this summer garden, the mock orange is in bloom and again, as I may have mentioned before in this blog, I remember the scent of this June flower, when I first encountered it in 1941, when my mother and I moved from Plymouth to a post-blitz London to live with my grandmother.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mulberry Trees

  1. Rob Hickok says:

    Your notes on the progeny of plants in your garden (and others) is quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve encountered such a regard for the history of individual gardens or their components outside a few references, such as your own, from the UK. Here, I’m sure there are some collectors of plants with history (probably mostly in the rose culture). I have but two “historical” plants in my garden. A ficus tree that my mother gave me several years ago which has moved, in a pot, to three different homes. It’s finally been planted in the ground in our first owned home here in Cali. The other is an aloe which I couldn’t bear to leave in our last place, so it got first dibs on a corner spot in the front yard here in the new place. But nothing with the legacy of your mulberry.

    I appreciate the value, I think. I have a rosemary that is important because in one of our first happy-homes (we’ve moved nine times in 19 years) we had a monstrous tree of a rosemary that I loved – had grown from a store-bought seedling to a 4 foot tree. And I always grow basil at each opportunity because the smell reminds me of all the places we’ve been. Again, not the depth of history of which you speak, but I believe I can grasp how valuable it is.

  2. lleweton says:

    Yes, thanks Rob. We too associate our herbs and plants with places where we’ve lived

  3. churchmouse says:

    Llew, how wonderful to have a mulberry tree! All I can think of now is silk weaving!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s