Holyoak, but not the soap opera…………….

My gardening career is not very long lived. At Ballywalter Park it started about 8 or so years ago with this tree, the Quercus ilex. On all the old photographs I’ve found of the Pleasure Grounds this is an enormous shapeless blob. All branches reached the ground. So much so a young girl from the village once slept a night under it to raise money for charity.

I used to stand at the window in my kitchen and look out while I kneading some dough and wonder why it wasn’t tree shaped. Eventually I took a pair of loppers and gave it a hair cut from inside. After 4 or so hours you could see the vast trunk of this quercus. It took JT and JB snr. a couple of days to clear up the mess I’d made and finish off the job by cutting branches that had reached the ground, rooted and started again. There was even another variety of oak fully grown in there. I am so glad we took the trouble to do this job, it still looks spectacular and it lifts my heart every time I see it.









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