Bird Cherry and Walnut

So saddening to see the probable fate of the UK's Ash trees turn ever more certain with steady spread of Chalara fraxinea, or Ash Dieback. Maybe it's because trees occupy that time-frame somewhere between the human life-span and deep geological time that we imbue the landscape they create with something like permanence.

When Charles Raymond (of Joy of Sex fame) completed these illustrations in 1973 the Elm was falling prey to the disease that decimated their population. Still, it's heartening to know, irrespective of our blunders here on the surface, all known horticultural specimens form part of Svalbard Global Seed Vault, interned 120 meters beneath a Norwegian sandstone mountain.
1970s horticultural illustration

Cyril Hart & Charles Raymond

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