Earlier this year, in May when my sister was visiting from Denmark, we discovered a living elm, which was clearly not suffering from Dutch elm disease. I was very excited, thinking I have one of the few elms still alive, but it is quite a young tree. When the Dutch elm disease struck almost all were cut down and disposed of in the late 60’s and the mid 70’s to minimise the disease spreading. Shades of today with the Ash dieback.
Of course it is now thought to have been a grave error as no one knows how many might have been resistant. In July and August we collected lots of seeds and as you can see from the photo above I now have 3 genuine Ballywalter Park elms growing from those seeds. We have high hopes that more seeds will germinate next spring, but for now we are cock-a-hoop to have got this far.
I spent the morning reading the work diary of one of our previous gardeners who died tragically young in 2011. It is quite amazing how much she would pack into a day. I miss her daily and often use her daily notes to guide me. In 2008 she writes that we had our first frost the night of the 28th October. I wonder if we’re going to get frost tonight?! In which case we’ll be following CF’s plan of lifting the Dahlias, as soon as possible.