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Green tunnel

You can find this little lane sheltered by old lindens in Vaassen (The Netherlands). It’s called ‘Kersendijkje’, Cherry dyke. (No idea though where that name came from. You won’t find any cherry trees along this dyke). The lane is right next to Cannenburgh Castle. I was told many teenagers in this village share their first kiss under these trees. It does make sense: the lane is totally sheltered from spying eyes. I just love the way the trees are leaning.

 

 

 

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True tulip tree

Last week, I spotted a tree with white, tulip-like flowers in the Botanic Garden in Oxford. This weekend I discovered they have a true tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) as well. The name doesn’t give it away, but it belongs to the magnolia family.

The pale green buds and the flowers, light green with a bit of orange, are not always easy to spot between the leaves.

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Tulip-like magnolia

White tulip-like flowers sheltered by large green leaves. What type of tree is this?, I wondered. I had once seen a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and this one evidently a different type of tree.

After a while, I spotted the sign: Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis. Chinese magnolia in common English.

One interesting detail: the tulip tree belongs to the magnolia family as well.

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Tree full of hankies

Last week, in the Oxford Botanical Garden I came across a tree that seemed to be surrounded by used white handkerchiefs or tissues. Looking up, I found that the little white sheets had actually fallen from the tree.

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A sign by the tree identified it as a Davidia involucrata. It originates from China and is commonly known as handkerchief tree, dove tree and ghost tree.

It is a lovely sight, to see the bracts fluttering in the wind like white doves or pinched handkerchiefs.

 

A single tree in a sea of heather

A single pine tree in a sea of heather creates a strong contrast. It’s a great sight, even in spring, when the shrubs are not in their prime.

Heather fields, little lakes, forest, and blue skies: great ingredients for a hike around the Renderklippen, a nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Trees with young leaves display a range of colours.

 

Beautiful and deadly cliffs

Beachy Head is famous for its white chalk cliffs extending over 150 meters above sea level. They are beautiful, and deadly. Crosses near the cliff edge remind visitors of that fact.

Some people slip because they get too close to the edge. There are warning signs and a negligible fence made from a single wire, but only at the highest point.

Unfortunately, Beachy Head is a well-known location for suicide attempts. Organisations such as the Samaritans and the Beachy Head Chaplaincy patrol the cliffs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They reach out to people, encourage them to seek help, and often succeed in preventing suicide.

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