Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Yearly cycle of two Rowan Trees


The Rowan Trees blossom is sweetly scented, much loved by bees and insects. This summer the trees were literally buzzing with bee activity as they collected the pollen.
There is a Scottish tradition surrounding the growing of Rowan Trees in gardens, especially at the front of the property, which we first discovered when we were living there. One of them is the protection of the household, and in the Highlands branches of rowan trees were burnt before people's houses, so as to keep witches away.
Some of the rowan tree's magic and protective qualities may stem from the fact that there is a small five pointed star, or pentagram, opposite the stalk of each berry; pentagrams have long been considered symbols of protection. The berries' red colour is also claimed to be the best protective colour against enchantment. Druids used both the berries and the bark of the rowan tree for dyeing the garments that they wore at lunar ceremonies.
The berries are edible, but we let the birds have ours - they love them. They are very rich in vitamins and if using them they should be picked following the first frost. They can be used for making jam, jelly and wine.
Our trees were already planted in the garden when we arrived, but we like them and enjoy the way they evolve during the seasons.

57 comments:

  1. Ι didn't know all these legends and stories about Rowan trees, I always love to learn them.I can't imagine that you have trees in full bloom in the middle of summer!You must be surounded by a lovely green space I suppose.So very beautiful and your photos too Rosemary!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Olympia - the leaves on our trees turn the most wonderful shades of red, yellow and orange in the Autumn - they almost look as if they are on fire. The particular Rowan Trees we have give us all year pleasure.

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  2. The white blossoms are so pretty! I like the berries too… Are they any good when you eat them?

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    1. You can't eat them raw but have to make them into a jelly, jam or wine. This year the trees are covered in berries, so if I can get to them before the birds then I might try making something with them. You eat it with meat rather like cranberries but not so sweet.

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  3. I googled Rowan Berry's, because i was thinking....i don't know this berry's.
    Yes, i know them, we call this berry's lijsterbes, en it is good food for the birds.
    Our neighbours have this tree, and we can see the berry's now, so nice.
    You have make beautiful photo's.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Dear Inge - the trees are common all over Europe and in northern America too. We also call them mountain ash. This year they have been very prolific and produced loads of bunches of beautiful berries.

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  4. The wood pigeons that spend most of their time in our garden have been eyeing up the neighbouring Rowan tree and the swelling berries of the Pyracantha which they will strip as soon as they are ready to eat.

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    1. We have a pair of wood pigeons too, I don't like to be too rude but they are rather ponderous, funny birds with their droopy beaks. Ours don't touch the berries, they spend most of their time under my bird feeders waiting for little morsels that drop their way.

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  5. Hello Rosemary, These trees also grow in the U.S., where they are often called mountain ash. The close-up of the flowers immediately revels their place in the rose family, as does the small, apple-like pome fruits.

    I always thought that I might plant one of these if I ever owned some land. Your photos reveal the rowan's beauty in every season.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Dear Jim - we call them mountain ash too. Yes, I recall now that the trees are genus sorbus of the Rosaceae family. There are lots of different varieties and ours are particularly lovely with their fantastic autumn display. My neighbour has some but her leaves just turn yellow and drop whilst mine continue to look spectacular for many more weeks. Some of the trees have white berries. If you want to have one some day then it is worth checking out the many different types available.

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  6. Great post, Rosemary! What a great 4-season look at a great specimen in your garden.

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    1. Thank you Marie - this post was nearly 12 months in the making!!!

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  7. Dear Rosemary,

    I remember you talking about creating a time-sequence of your trees quite a while ago, so I appreciate both the beauty and planning that went into this posting! Unlike Jim, I was not familiar with this tree, but I can see how the berries would be tempting to man and bird alike!

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    1. Dear Mark - welcome back from your travels.
      You have a good memory, and I know you will appreciate the fact that this post did not happen overnight!!! The different seasonal contrasts have proved to be an interesting exercise.

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  8. Beautiful pictures of the Rowan tree through the seasons. A long time ago I read that the berries were edible and I made jam of it. That was only once, because we did not like the taste at all. Birds are fond of the berries and spread the seeds, so we have often a young tree somewhere in the garden.

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    1. Hello Janneke - apparently it is very important that the berries are frosted or frozen in the freezer before cooking - I wonder if you did that. Apparently it makes them much sweeter, and yes the birds really appreciate the berries when it gets colder.

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  9. The autumn foliage is just lovely. I saw one at Rosemoor a couple of years ago that had pink berries, Sorbus vilmorinii. Perhaps this year I have managed to clear enough space to accommodate one.
    Fascinating to read the history of them too.. I shall make sure that it is planted at the front of the house!

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    1. I forgot to mention the ones with pink berries - I think that there are well over 50 different varieties to chose from. I do not know the name of mine, but its colour in the Autumn does great things for the garden. Yes, definitely plant the tree at the front - just to be sure.

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  10. Thank you for introducing me to your trees. They are beautiful in every season! Lovely!

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    1. They definitely give us good value all the year round - even in the winter the trees show their bright red buds in anticipation of the spring.

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  11. Super season pictures. Congratulations.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  12. What wonderful trees. I just love that autumn colour. Didn't realise that Rowan and Mountain Ash were one and the same. I always learn something in your posts. Thank you.

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    1. Dear Susan - apparently the tree goes by various names but I have always known it as a Rowan Tree, perhaps because I first became aware of it whilst living in Scotland which is what they tend to call it.

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  13. Lovely - a tree for all seasons. Stunning photos Rosemary.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thanks Patricia - as you can probably imagine this post has been sitting in drafts for nearly a year with me adding to it as each season has come and gone.

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  14. great idea to present us this tree by season, love the collages+idea...very interesting info too:-)

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    1. Thanks Jana - glad you enjoyed the post.

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  15. Ja nie mam w ogrodzie jarzębiny, bo mam mały ogródek. Jest ich jednak dużo w miejscu gdzie mieszkam i widzę jak ptaki lubią te owoce. Pozdrawiam.
    I do not have a garden rowan, because I have a small garden. There are, however, much in the place where I live and I see birds like the fruit. Yours.

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    1. Due to the very good summer the trees are hanging with bunches of berries, so the birds should have a good supply to take them into the winter.

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  16. Lovely to see the seasonal changes. I think their autumn garb is the most spectacular! x

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    1. Most of the other types of Rowan Tree have leaves which turn yellow and then fall. Ours colours up long after the others have lost their leaves and is a wonderful sight in the garden.

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  17. Dear Rosemary,these are so beautiful pictures of the Rowan tree through the seasons!!! I just love the Autumn colours on the leaves!!So many things i did'nt know!!Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures and informations about the three!!Have a lovely day!!
    Dimi...

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    1. Dear Dimi - thank you for your kind comment - our particular variety of Rowan Tree is very good for giving interest all year round.

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  18. The Rowan tree is certainly beautiful through all the four seasons; I suspect the Autumn look is the most spectacular. I think there is a Christmas carol which mentions this tree, but I can't recall what it is. It will come back to me in a couple of months when we start singing carols again. A lovely post, Rosemary.

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    1. It does look fantastic in the late Autumn Patricia, and is one of the last trees in our garden to drop its leaves. I am not sure which Christmas carol you mean so sorry I can't help you out.

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  19. Dear Rosemary, The Rowan trees, through the seasons, are wonderfully colorful and interesting. What is even more amazing and wonderful is your memory and orderly filing system. Your beautiful photographs always make reading your posts such a pleasure. ox, Gina

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    1. You are always so kind and encouraging with your comments Gina - my filing system, as such, is simply that the post has been sitting in drafts, and I have kept adding to it gradually over the past year as each season has come and gone.

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  20. Interesting tree. They grow in certain areas of Tasmania.

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    1. Surprisingly I understand that there are over 50 different varieties of Rowan Tree.

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  21. Lovely photos of the Rowan trees in each season - and I was fascinated by the information, too. I would love to see the dyed material! They look beautiful in autumn, and it's wonderful to think they're helping the birds feed up for winter.

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    1. Dear Wendy it is a great all round tree with the bees attraction to it in the summer and the birds in the autumn. Our tree is a particularly lovely variety with its wonderful autumn colour too, but unfortunately I can't remember which one it is.

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  22. what a beautiful tree; it is one I am not familiar with; it apparently doesn't grow well in my part of the world. Beautiful in all seasons sounds like the perfect tree. The berries are similar to those on our Dogwood trees. Do you have many Dogwoods there?

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    1. Yes, we do have dogwoods - they are beautiful trees and so many different varieties.

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  23. Dear Rosemary,

    I enjoyed your yearly cycle of the Rowan trees. I will have to check out how the tree is called in Dutch :-) The leaves, berries and blossoms doe look familiar to me, but I simply cannot remember the name!!

    Madelief x

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    1. Another name for it Madelief is Mountain Ash - our is particularly nice because it has such wonderful colouring in the autumn.

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  24. It's not often you see the annual cycle of a tree in one go. Your trees look beautiful in every season and they change so dramatically too. I remember having a mountain ash in one of our garden the berries were always such a picture.
    Sarah x

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    1. I started doing this post about last October, and had to remind myself to catch it at various times of the year. It was interesting assembling it all together.

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  25. This is such a useful tree to have around. The flowers, berries and the leaves during autumn look great throughout the seasons. The Druid tradition makes it even more interesting - great story!

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    1. Thank you - it is a tree that gives us all year round interest - even the bright red buds in the winter make us believe that the spring is perhaps nearer arriving than it is.

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  26. Thanks for sharing this! It's a great way for me to learn about the different types of foliage in England!

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    1. Thank you - it was fun keeping track of the tree for a year, and interesting to see the final results when collated together.

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  27. The rowan is one of my favourite smaller trees because of its variety of colour and its hardiness. Super photos, Rosemary.

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    1. This is the first garden that we have ever had with Rowan Trees, and it enjoy its all year round appearance.

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  28. I love the colour of rowan berries - and I've known several children with Rowan as a first name too. Beautiful in every way!

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    1. I dont know a single child called Rowan, but I can understand that it is an attractive name.

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  29. We have Rowan tree, too, which is called “nanakamado” literally meaning “seven times in furnace” as it is so hard to be burnt down. It is planted as a good luck charm for fire prevention in some region. The pristine white flowers in spring, red berries and colored leaves in autumn and winter trees in your photos are so beautiful. Red color is traditionally believed to ward off evil spirit in Japan.

    Yoko

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