I have been sitting on Brita von Schoenaich’s birches for too long.

Almost but not quite.   The image has been looming on the desktop and housewifery has hit the computer screen.  Why are they there?  Simply because over and over again the simplicity of this planting strikes me as perfect.  Lovely it is that there is nothing other than birches.

They are not planted in memorial garden manner.  Instead they conjure the heath.  The planting budget has been kept down by steering clear of multi-stemmed specimens.  The trees, less than straight are close planted.  Under a metre between them.  And then they are uplit at night.  Standing like ghosts in front of the huge bulk of the turbine hall of Tate Modern in London.  Anyone visiting London should make a detour in winter to cross the glass bridge from St Pauls.  The bridge takes you slap bang into these trees.


  1. Lona says:

    I adore the white bark on the birch trees. I imagine it is beautiful with the lighting.

  2. These are gorgeous…love to see them lit up!

  3. HolleyGarden says:

    Lovely. This is a perfect presentation of how beautiful a simple garden can be. What is that saying? (I couldn’t find it) something like – take everything out that’s not necessary or beautiful.

  4. Janet says:

    I agree with you that it’s the simplicity that is what makes these trees so wonderful.
    In the Highlands Silver Birchs grow ove a carpet of heather and the simplicity of this is wonderful too.A

  5. Still takes another to draw one’s eye to things and besides your descriptions are so imaginitive. Must look like slender ghosts when uplit at night – tend to pass by in the late afternoon on way to pub for a sundowner

  6. Saurs says:

    What a wonderful illustration of the birch. As a specimen, it’s nothing I’d look at twice. Planted in triangles or in belts, as they are out my way, their natural characteristics (more often single-trunked than not, a wispy and fairly narrow weeping canopy taking a hard pruning well, wonderful bark in an especially haunting bleached bone cream) are emphasized. That each among the group invariably has its own unique charms, its own idiosyncrasies, renders even the most predictable design special. Lighting up is certainly the only way to go.

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