To stand under a full grown specimen can provoke a desire to twist strings of fairy lights, hang lanterns and have a party.
The branches of Larix x marschlinsii
sweep and curve downwards and act as a giant awning. And the space beneath this is large and beautiful, prompting a peering up through the undersides of branches. Fishbones of branchlets and old cones dangle down.
A close cousin of the Japanese larch and so it does the typical larch thing - shifting to crispy golden in autumn. The cones are wonderful: carmine pink in spring turning green over the summer. Flowers are sulpherous yellow and dangle from twiggy branches softened by tufts of glaucous needles.
It is a gracious tree - big and stately and needs to stand alone in rolling acres. Parkland would be the best setting. So how exactly do you conduct a love affair with a tree that is way too big to fit into your garden? Simple. Adopt one.
At Edinburgh Botanic Gardens they have just such a scheme. Pay and take the tree for 5 years. Well, take as a metaphor.
Adopter comes to the tree with a plaque that gives a little personal information. The tree will be around for a long time but you can put your mark on its bark for a slice of time that will show up in its growth rings. A neat solution for people like me who suffer from covetous tree habits.